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PRESENTED A.D. ..19.8.2 

BY Professor D.D.C. Chambers 


a t ( 11 a 31 it r * a* 













4, pfe. \ 



MAR 4 1000 


THE following Compilation not being admissible into the 
Library of the Fathers from the date of some few of the 
authors introduced into it, the Editors of the latter work 
have been led to publish it in a separate form, being assured 
that those who have subscribed to their Translations of the 
entire Treatises of the ancient Catholic divines, will not feel 
less interest, or find less benefit, in the use of so very 
judicious and beautiful a selection from them. The Editors 
refer to the Preface for some account of the natural and 
characteristic excellences of the work, which will be found 
as useful in the private study of the Gospels, as it is well 
adapted for family reading, and full of thought for those who 
are engaged in religious instruction, 

Oxford, May 6, 1841, 



Ver. 1. In the beginning was the Word, 

CHRYS. While all the other Evangelists begin with theChrys. 
Incarnation, John, passing over the Conception, Nativity, S? 1 ? 1 ^' 
education, and growth, speaks immediately of the Eternal Joan- 
Generation, saying, In the beginning ivas the Word. AUG. Aug.lib. 
The Greek word " logos" signifies both Word and Reason. Q^'j 1 ' 
But in this passage it is better to interpret it Word ; as refer- q- 63. ' 
ring not only to the Father, but to the creation of things by 
the operative power of the Word; whereas Reason, though it 
produce nothing, is still rightly called Reason. AUG. Words Aug. 3 
by their daily use, sound, and passage out of us, have become ^ ract ' 
common things. But there is a word which remaineth inward, Joan. i. 
in the very man himself; distinct from the sound which pro- c ' 8 ' 
ceedeth out of the mouth.' There is a word, which is truly 
and spiritually that, which you understand by the sound, not 
being the actual sound. Now whoever can conceive thedeTrin. 
notion of word, as existing not only before its sound, but^*^; 
even before the idea of its sound is formed, may see enigmati 
cally, and as it were in a glass, some similitude of that Word of 
Which it is said, In the beginning was the Word. For when 
we give expression to something which we know, the word 
used is necessarily derived from the knowledge thus retained 
in the memory, and must be of the same quality with that 
knowledge. For a word is a thought formed from a thing 
which we know ; which word is spoken in the heart, being 
neither Greek nor Latin, nor of any language, though, when 
we want to communicate it to others, some sign is assumed 
VOL. iv. 


ibid, by which to express it. ... Wherefore the word which sounds 
T)' externally, is a sign of the word which lies hid within, to which 
the name of word more truly appertains. For that which is 
uttered by the mouth of our flesh, is the voice of the word ; 
and is in fact called word, with reference to that from which it 
Basil, is taken, when it is developed externally. BASIL ; This Word 
H T C ' m is not a human word. For how was there a human word in 
Joan, the beginning, when man received his being last of all ? 
There was not then any word of man in the beginning, nor 
yet of Angels ; for every creature is within the limits of time, 
having its beginning of existence from the Creator. But 
what says the Gospel ? It calls the Only-Begotten Himself 
Cbrys. the Word. CHRYS. But why omitting the Father, does he 
Joan. if. proceed at once to speak of the Son ? Because the Father 
[i.].4. was known to all; though not as the Father, yet as God; 
whereas the Only-Begotten was not known. As was meet 
then, he endeavours first of all to inculcate the knowledge of 
the Son on those who knew Him not ; though neither in dis 
coursing on Him, is he altogether silent on the Father. 
And inasmuch as he was about to teach that the Word was 
the Only-Begotten Son of God, that no one might think this 
rah-rii, a passible generation, he makes mention of the Word in the 
first place, in order to destroy the dangerous suspicion, and 
shew that the Son was from God impassibly. And a second 
Johnis, reason is, that He was to declare unto us the things of the 
15 ' Father. But he does not speak of the Word simply, but with 
the addition of the article, in order to distinguish It from 
other words. For Scripture calls God's laws and command 
ments words; but this Word is a certain Substance, or Person, 
an Essence, coming forth impassibly from the Father Himself. 
Basil. BASIL; Wherefore then Word ? Because born impassibly, the 
princ! Image of Him that begat, manifesting all the Father in Him- 
Joan. se j. abstracting from Him nothing, but existing perfect in 
Aug. Himself. ' AUG. As our knowledge differs from God's, so 
Trin. 6 ^ oes our worc ^> which arises from our knowledge, differ from 
that Word of God, which is born of the Father's essence ; 
we might say, from the Father's knowledge, the Father's 
wisdom, or, more correctly, the Father Who is Knowledge, 
the Father Who is Wisdom. The Word of God then, the 

c. 23. Only-Begotten Son of the Father, is in all things like and 

VER. 1. ST. JOHN. 3 

equal to the Father; being altogether what the Father is, yet 
not the Father ; because the one is the Son, the other the 
Father. And thereby He knoweth all things which the 
Father knoweth ; yet His knowledge is from the Father, even 
as is His being : for knowing and being are the same with 
Him ; and so as the Father's being is not from the Son, so 
neither is His knowing. Wherefore the Father begat the 
Word equal to Himself in all things as uttering forth Him 
self. For had there been more or less in His Word than in 
Himself, He would not have uttered Himself fully and per 
fectly. With respect however to our own inner word, which 
we find, in whatever sense, to be like the Word, let us not 
object to see how very unlike it is also. A word is a forma- cap. 25. 
tion of our mind going to take place, but not yet made, and( xv> ) 
something in our mind which we toss to and fro in a slippery 
circuitous way, as one thing and another is discovered, or 
occurs to our thoughts. When this, which we toss to and 
fro, has reached the subject of our knowledge, and been 
formed therefrom, when it has assumed the most exact like 
ness to it, and the conception has quite answered to the 
thing ; then we have a true word. W T ho may not see how 
great the difference is here from that Word of God, which 
exists in the Form of God in such wise, that It could not 
have been first going to be formed, and afterwards formed, 
nor can ever have been unformed, being a Form absolute, 
and absolutely equal to Him from Whom It is. Wherefore 
in speaking of the Word of God here nothing is said about 
thought in God ; lest we should think there was any thing 
revolving in God, which might first receive form in order to 
be a Word, and afterwards lose it, and be earned round 
and round again in an unformed state. AUG. Now the Word Aug. de 
of God is a Form, not a formation, but the Form of allp^' 
forms, a Form unchangeable, removed from accident, from Serm. 


failure, from time, from space, surpassing all things, and 
existing in all things as a kind of foundation underneath, 
and summit above them. BASIL; Yet has our outward Basil, 
word some similarity to the Divine Word. For our word H P m- in 

declares the whole conception of the mind ; since what we Joan. 

conceive in the mind we bring out in word. Indeed our ' 8 ' 
heart is as it were the source, and the uttered word the 



Chrys. stream which flows therefrom. CHRYS. Observe the spiritual 

Hom - u w isdom of the Evangelist. He knew that men honoured 

most what was most ancient, and that honouring what is before 

every thing else, they conceived of it as God. On this account 

he mentions first the beginning, saying, In tlie beginning 

Orig. was the Word. ORIGEN ; There are many significations of 

i*n"j ' *^" s WOI> d beginning. For there is a beginning of a journey, 

c. 16. and beginning of a length, according to Proverbs, The be- 

Prov. ginning of the right path is to do justice. There is a 

**> beginning too of a creation, according to Job, He is the 

Job 40, beginning ' of the ways of God. Nor would it be incorrect 

, 19 ' . f to say, that God is the Beginning of all things. The 

of,E.T.preexistent material again, where supposed to be original, 

plum'" out f which any thing is produced, is considered as the 

Vulg. beginning. There is a beginning also in respect of form : 

18.' ' as where Christ is the beginning of those who are made 

according to the image of God. And there is a beginning 

Heb 5 ^ doctrine, according to Hebrews; When for the time ye 

12. ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again 

u-hich be the first principles of the oracles of God. For there 

are two kinds of beginning of doctrine: one in itself, the other 

relative to us ; as if we should say that Christ, in that He is 

the Wisdom and Word of God, was in Himself the beginning 

of wisdom, but to us, in that He was the Word incarnate. 

c. 22. There being so many significations then of the word, we may 

take it as the Beginning through Whom, i. e. the Maker; for 

Christ is Creator as The Beginning, in that He is Wisdom ; 

so that the Word is in the beginning, i. e. in Wisdom; the 

Saviour being all these excellences at once. As life then is 

in the Word, so the Word is in the Beginning, that is to say, 

in Wisdom. Consider then if it be possible according to 

this signification to understand the Beginning, as meaning 

that all things are made according to Wisdom, and the 

patterns contained therein; or, inasmuch as the Beginning 

of the Son is the Father, the Beginning of all creatures and 

existencies, to understand by the text, In the beginning 

Aug. de was the Word, that the Son, the Word, was in the Begin- 

c. 3. (iij n ing that is, in the Father. AUG. Or, In the beginning, 

Horn' in as ^ lt were sa ^' before a ^ things. BASIL; The Holy 

princ. Ghost foresaw that men would arise, who should envy 


VER. 1. ST. JOHN. 5 

the glory of the Only-Begotten, subverting their hearers by 
sophistry; as if because He were begotten, He was not; and 
before He was begotten, He was not. That none might pre 
sume then to babble such things, the Holy Ghost saith, In 
the beginning was the Word. HILARY; Years, centuries, Hilar. 
ages, are passed over, place what beginning thou wilt in thy T r jn 
imagining, thou graspestit not in time, for He, from Whom it c - 13 - 
is derived, still was. CHRYS. As then when our ship is nearChrys. 
shore, cities and port pass in survey before us, which on the Hom< '* 
open sea vanish, and leave nothing whereon to fix the eye; 
so the Evangelist here, taking us with him in his flight above 
the created world, leaves the eye to gaze in vacancy on an 
illimitable expanse. For the words, was in the beginning, 
are significative of eternal and infinite essence. AUG. They Aug. de 
say, however, if He is the Son, He was born. We allow it. ^^ 
They rejoin: if the Son was born to the Father, the Father Se "n. 
was, before the Son was born to Him. This the Faith [117.1 
rejects. Then they say, explain to us how the Son could ^ 6 - 
be born from the Father, and yet be coeval with Him from 
whom He is born : for sons are born after their fathers, to 
succeed them on their death. They adduce analogies from 
nature ; and we must endeavour likewise to do the same for 
our doctrine. But how can we find in nature a coeternal, 
when we cannot find an eternal ? However, if a thing 
generating and a thing generated can be found any where 
coeval, it will be a help to forming a notion of coeternals. 
Now Wisdom herself is called in the Scriptures, the bright- wisd.7 
ness of Everlasting Light, the image of the Father. Hence 26 - 
then let us take our comparison, and from coevals form a 
notion of coeternals. Now no one doubts that brightness 
proceeds from fire: fire then we may consider the father 
of the brightness. Presently, when I light a candle, at 
the same instant with the fire, brightness ariseth. Give 
me the fire without the brightness, and I will with thee 
believe that the Father was without the Son. An image 
is produced by a mirror. The image exists as soon as 
the beholder appears; yet the beholder existed before hfi 
came to the mirror. Let us suppose then a twig, or a blade 
of grass which has grown up by the water side. Is it not born 
with its image? If there had always been the twig, there 


would always have been the image proceeding from the twig. 
And whatever is from another thing, is born. So then that 
which generates may be coexistent from eternity with that 
which is generated from it. But some one will say perhaps, 
Well, I understand now the eternal Father, the coeternal Son : 
yet the Son is like the emitted brightness, which is less bril 
liant than the fire, or the reflected image, which is less real than 
the twig. Not so: there is complete equality between Father 
and Son. I do not believe, he says ; for thou hast found 
nothing whereto to liken it. However, perhaps we can find 
something in nature by which we may understand that the 
Son is both coeternal with the Father, and in no respect 
inferior also : though we cannot find any one material of com 
parison that will be sufficient singly, and must therefore join 
together two, one of which has been employed by our adver 
saries, the other by ourselves. For they have drawn their 
comparison from things which are preceded in time by the 
things which they spring from, man, for example, from man. 
Nevertheless, man is of the same substance with man. We 
have then in that nativity an equality of nature; an equality 
of time is wanting. But in the comparison which we have 
drawn from the brightness of fire, and the reflexion of a twig, 
an equality of nature thou dost not find, of time thou dost. 
In the Godhead then there is found as a whole, what 
here exists in single and separate parts; and that which 
is in the creation, existing in a manner suitable to the 
Cone. Creator. Ex GESTIS CONCILII EPHESINI ; Wherefore in one 
Eph. place divine Scripture calls Him the Son, in another the 
Word, in another the Brightness of the Father; names 
severally meant to guard against blasphemy. For, foras 
much as thy son is of the same nature with thyself, the 
Scripture wishing to shew that the Substance of the Father 
and the Son is one, sets forth the Son of the Father, born of 
the Father, the Only-Begotten. Next, since the terms birth 
and son, convey the idea of passibleness, therefore it calls 
the Son the Word, declaring by that name the impassibility 
of His Nativity. But inasmuch as a father with us is neces 
sarily older than his son, lest thou shouldest think that this 
applied to the Divine nature as well, it calls the Only-Begotten 
the Brightness of the Father ; for brightness, though arising 

VER. 1. ST. JOHN. 7 

from the sun, is not posterior to it. Understand then that 
Brightness, as revealing the coeternity of the Son with the 
Father ; Word as proving the impassibility of His birth, and 
Son as conveying His consubstantiality. CHRYS. But they Chrys. 
say that In the beginning does not absolutely express i n j oa n. 
eternity: for that the same is said of the heaven and the" 1 -^ 1 -] 
earth: In the beginning God made the heaven and the Gen. }, 
earth. But are not made and was, altogether different? ' 
For in like manner as the word is, when spoken of man, 
signifies the present only, but when applied to God, that 
which always and eternally is ; so too was, predicated of our 
nature, signifies the past, but predicated of God, eternity. 
ORIGEN ; The verb to be, has a double signification, sometimes Orig. 
expressing the motions which take place in time, as other divers, 
verbs do; sometimes the substance of that one thing of which loc - 
it is predicated, without reference to time. Hence it is also 
called a substantive verb. HILARY ; Consider then the world, Hilar. 
understand what is written of it. In the beginning Cfc^Trin. 
made the heaven and the earth. Whatever therefore is c - xiii - 
created is made in the beginning, and thou wouldest contain 
in time, what, as being to be made, is contained in the be 
ginning. But, lo, for me, an illiterate unlearned fisherman is meus 

. , piscator 

independent or time, unconfined by ages, advanceth beyond (Hil.) 

all beginnings. For the Word was, what it is, and is not 
bounded by any time, nor commenced therein, seeing It was 
not made in the beginning, but was. ALCUIN; To refute 
those who inferred from Christ's Birth in time, that He had 
not been from everlasting, the Evangelist begins with the 
eternity of the Word, saying, In the beginning was the 

And the Word was with God. 

CHRYS. Because it is an especial attribute of God, to be Chrys. 
eternal and without a beginning, he laid this down first : then, nn 3"' 
lest any one on hearing in the beginning was the Word, should 
suppose the Word Unbegotten, he instantly guarded against 
this; saying, And the Word was with God. HILARY ;P 1 j a e r * 
From the beginning He is with God : and though hide- Trin. 


Basil, pendent of time, is not independent of an Author. BASIL ; 
priuc.' m Again he repeats this, was, because of men blasphemously 
Joan, saying, that there was a time when He was not. Where 
then was the Word ? Illimitable things are not contained 
in space. Where was He then ? With God. For neither 
is the Father bounded by place, nor the Son by aught 
Orf g- .. circumscribing. OEIGEN ; It is worth while noting, that, 
in Joan, whereas the Word is said to come 1 [be made] to some, as to 
j 1 , 1 ' tum Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah, with God it is not made, as though 
Vulg. it were not with Him before. But, the Word having been 
always with Him, it is said, and the Word was with God: 
for from the beginning it was not separate from the Father, 
s. CHRYS. He has not said, was in God, but was with God: 
'exhibiting to us that eternity which He had in accordance 
Theoph. with His Person. THEOPHYL. Sabellius is overthrown by 
>co " this text. For he asserts that the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost are one Person, Who sometimes appeared as the 
Father, sometimes as the Son, sometimes as the Holy Ghost. 
But he is manifestly confounded by this text, and the Word 
was with God; for here the Evangelist declares that the Son 
is one Person, God the Father another. 

And the Word was God. 

Hiiar.ii. HILARY ; Thou wilt say, that a word is the sound of the voice, 
8.16. ^ enunciation of a thing, the expression of a thought: this 
Word was in the beginning with God, because the utterance 
of thought is eternal, when He who thinketh is eternal. But 
how was that in the beginning, which exists no time either 
before, or after, I doubt even whether in time at all ? For 
speech is neither in existence before one speaks, nor after ; in 
the very act of speaking it vanishes ; for by the time a 
speech is ended, that from which it began does not exist. 
But even if the first sentence, in the beginning was the Word, 
was through thy inattention lost upon thee, why disputes! 
thou about the next ; and the Word was with God? Didst 
thou hear it said, " In God," so that thou shouldest under 
stand this Word to be only the expression of hidden 
thoughts ? Or did John say with by mistake, and was not 

VER. 1. ST. JOHN. ' 9 

aware of the distinction between being in, and being with, 
when he said, that what was in the beginning, was not 
in God, but with God ? Hear then the nature and name of 
the Word ; and the Word was God. No more then of the 
sound of the voice, of the expression of the thought. The 
Word here is a Substance, not a sound ; a Nature, not an 
expression; God, not a nonentity. HILARY; But the title is Hilar. 
absolute, and free from the offence of an extraneous subject. Trin^c. 
To Moses it is said, / have given 1 thee for a god to 9 ) 10 ' 11 - 
Pharaoh: but is not the reason for the name added, when iti. 

is said, to Pharaoh? Moses is given for a god to Pharaoh, 
when he is feared, when he is entreated, when he punishes, made, 
when he heals. And it is one thing to be given for a God, ng ' r * 
another thing to be God. I remember loo another applica 
tion of the name in the Psalms, / have said, ye are gods. Ps. 82. 
But there too it is implied that the title was but bestowed ; 
and the introduction of, / said, makes it rather the phrase 
of the Speaker, than the name of the thing. But when I 
hear the Word was God, I not only hear the Word said to 
be, but perceive It proved to be, God. BASIL; Thus cutting Basil. 
oif the cavils of blasphemers, and those who ask what t 

Word is, he replies, and the Word was God. THEOPHYL. Or Joan - 
combine it thus. From the Word being with God, it follows 
plainly that there are two Persons. But these two are of 
one Nature ; and therefore it proceeds, In the Word was 
God: to shew that father and Son are of One Nature, being 
of One Godhead. ORIGEN; We must add too, that theOrig. 
Word illuminates the Prophets with Divine wisdom, in that ^"jo"^, 
He cometh to them ; but that with God He ever is, because i Q princ. 
He is God . For which reason he placed and the Word was 
with God, before and the Word was God. CHRYS. Not assert- Chrys. 
ing, as Plato does, one to be intelligence 1 , the other soul 2 ; for ri ?*' ^' 
the Divine Nature is very different from this ..... But you ' * ^ 
say, the Father is called God with the addition of the article, j v T [HL] 
the Son without it. What say you then, when the Apostle 3 - 

a The Greek has, wgof 3k ri i a equally present with God. S. Thomas 

i \CT\ rvy;gMtf, O.TO <rtu titat <rjf avoids the apparent tautology in the 

av<tav. lit. but with God, God is present original by substituting ll apud Deum 

at all times, because He is with Him, vero est Verbum obtinere ab eo quod 

i. e. <rvyx i .'nn and iiieu are one with sit Deus." 
God. The Word, as God, is always 


Tit. 2, writes, The great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; and again, 

Rom. 9, Who is over all, God; and Grace be unto you and peace 

from God our Father; without the article? Besides, too, it 

7. 'were superfluous here, to affix what had been affixed just 

before. So that it does not follow, though the article is not 

affixed to the Son, that He is therefore an inferior God. 

2. The same was in the beginning with God. 

Hilar. HILARY; Whereas he had said, the Word was God, the 
T'rin. c. fearfulness, and strangeness of the speech disturbed me ; the 
16 - prophets having declared that God was One. But, to quiet 
my apprehensions, the fisherman reveals the scheme of this so 
great mystery, and refers all to one, without dishonour, with 
out obliterating [the Person], without reference to time b , 
saying, The Same was in the beginning with God; with One 
Unbegotten God, from whom He is, the One Only-begotten 
God. THEOPHYL. Again, to stop any diabolical suspicion, 
that the Word, because He was God, might have rebelled 
against His Father, as certain Gentiles fable, or, being 
separate, have become the antagonist of the Father Himself, 
he says, The Same was in the beginning with God; that 
is to say, this Word of God never existed separate from 
God. CHRYS. Or, lest hearing that In the beginning was 
[iii.]. the Word, you should regard It as eternal, but yet under 
stand the Father's Life to have some degree of priority, he has 
introduced the words, The Same was in the beginning with 
God. For God was never solitary, apart from Him, but 
ibid. 3. always God with God. Or forasmuch as he said, the Word 
was God, that no one might think the Divinity of the Son 
inferior, he immediately subjoins the marks of proper 
T> Siy*- Divinity, in that he both again mentions Eternity, The Same 
" was in the beginning with God; and adds His attribute of 
Orig. Creator, All things were made by Him. ORIGEN ; Or thus, 
in Joan, the Evangelist having begun with those propositions, reunites 
c - 4 - them into one, saying, The Same was in the beginning with 

b Since He was 1) " in the begin- nor 3) in existing in God only, so as to 

ning," and 2) " God," and 3) " with confound or destroy the Personality. 

God," He was 1) not " in time," nor [from S. Hil 1 c 1 
2) a word, but The Word, (see p. 8.) 


God. For in the first of the three we learnt in what the 
Word was, that it was in the beginning; in the second, with 
whom, with God; in the third who the Word was, God. 
Having, then, by the term, The Same, set before us in a 
manner God the Word of Whom he had spoken, he 
collects all into the fourth proposition, viz. In the begin 
ning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the 

Word was God; into, the Same was in the beginning with God. 
It may be asked, however, why it is not said, In the beginning 
was the Word of God, and the Word of God was with God, 
and the Word of God was God ? Now whoever will admit 
that truth is one, must needs admit also that the demonstration 
of truth, that is wisdom, is one. But if truth is one, and wisdom 
is one, the Word which enuntiates truth and developes wisdom 
in those who are capable of receiving it, must be One also. And 
therefore it would have been out of place here to have said, 
the Word of God, as if there were other words besides that 
of God, a word of angels, word of men, and so on. We do 
not say this, to deny that It is the Word of God, but to shew 
the use of omitting the word God. John himself too in the 
Apocalypse says, And his Name is called the Word of God. Rev. 19, 
ALCUIN ; Wherefore does he use the substantive verb, was ? 13 ' 
That you might understand that the Word, Which is co- 
eternal with God the Father, was before all time. 

3. All things were made by him. 

ALCUIN ; After speaking of the nature of the Son, he 
proceeds to His operations, saying, All things were made by 
him, i. e. every thing whether substance, or property. HILARY ; Hiiar. 
Or thus: [It is said], the Word indeed was in the beginning, T ' rj d n e 
but it may be that He was not before the beginning. Bute. 17. 
what saith he; All things were made by him. He is infinite 
by Whom every thing, which is, was made : and since all 
things were made by Him, time is likewise . CHRYS. Moses chrys. 
indeed, in the beginning of the Old Testament, speaks to 
us in much detail of the natural world, saying, In the 

c That is to say, The text, All He Who made all things, made time, 

things were made by Him, makes up for and so must have existed before time, 

the words, in the beginning, should these i. e. from eternity, 
appear to fall short of eternity. For 


beginning God made the heaven and the earth; and then 

relates how that the light, and the firmament, and the stars, 

and the various kinds of animals were created. But the 

Evangelist sums up the whole of this in a word, as familiar 

to his hearers; and hastens to loftier matter, making the 

whole of his book to bear not on the works, but on the 

Aug. i. Maker. AUG. Since all things were made by him, it is evident 

ad m en tnat %ht was also, when God said, Let there be light. And 

cap. 2. in like manner the rest. But if so, that which God said, viz. 

Let there be light, is eternal. For the Word of God, God with 

God, is coeternal with the Father, though the world created 

by Him be temporal. For whereas our when and sometimes 

are words of time, in the Word of God, on the contrary, 

when a thing ought to be made, is eternal ; and the thing is 

then made, when in that Word it is that it ought to be made, 

which Word hath in It neither when, or at sometime, 

Aug. since It is all eternal. AUG. How then can the Word of God 

tract*!!' be made, when God by the Word made all things ? For if the 

c. 11. Word Itself were made, by what other Word was It made ? If 

you say it was the Word of the Word by Which That was 

made, that Word I call the Only-Begotten Son of God. 

1 Ver. But if thou dost not call It the Word of the Word *, then 

Verb! grant that that Word was not made, by which all things were 

ed. Ben. made. AUG. And if It is not made, It is not a creature; but 

Aug. de if It is not a creature, It is of the same Substance with the 

T " n ; V. Father. For every substance which is not God is a creature ; 
c. y.(vi.) 

Theoph. and what is not a creature is God. THEOPHYL. The Arians 
are wont to say, that all things are spoken of as made by the 
Son, in the sense in which we say a door is made by a saw, viz. 
as an instrument; not that He was Himself the Maker. And 
so they talk of the Son as a thing made, as if He were made 
for this purpose, that all things might be made by Him. Now 
we to the inventors of this lie reply simply : If, as ye say, the 
Father had created the Son, in order to make use of Him as an 
instrument, it would -appear that the Son were less honourable 
than the things made, just as things made by a saw are more 
noble than the saw itself; the saw having been made for their 
sake. In like way do they speak of the Father creating the 
Son for the sake of the things made, as if, had He thought 
good to create the universe, neither would He have produced 

VER. 3. ST. JOHN. 13 

the Son. What can be more insane than such language ? 
They argue, however, why was it not said that the Word 
made all things, instead of the preposition by 1 being used? 1 *'* 
For this reason, that thou mightest not understand an Un- 
begotten and Unoriginate Son, a rival God d . CHRYS. IfChrys. 
the preposition by perplex thee, and thou wouldest learn j^' 
from Scripture that the Word all things, hear David, [iv.]c.2. 
Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the Pa. 101. 
earth, and the heavens are the work of Thy hands. That he 
spoke this of the Only-Begotten, you learn from the Apostle, 
who in the Epistle to the Hebrews applies these words to the 
Son. CHRYS. But if you say that the prophet spoke this of the Chrys. 
Father, and that Paul applied it to the Son, it comes to the same c '^ t ' 
thing. For he would nothave mentioned that as applicable to the 
Son, unless he fully considered that the Father and the Son 
were of equal dignity. If again thou dream that in the 
preposition by any subjection is implied, why does Paul use 
t of the Father ? as, God is faithful, by Whom ye were called i Cor.i, 
into the fellowship of His Son; and again, Paul an Apostle 2 'c r.i 
by the will of God. ORIGEN ; Here too Valentin us errs, l - . 
saying, that the Word supplied to the Creator the cause of tom. ii. 
the creation of the world 6 . If this interpretation is true, it c>8> 
should have been written that all things had their existence 
from the Word through the Creator, not contrariwise, 
through the Word from the Creator. 

And without him was not any thing made. 

CHRYS. That you may not suppose, when he says, All things Chrys. 
were made by Him, that he meant only the things Moses hadi n p r i* nc * 
spoken of, he seasonably brings in, And without Him was 
not any thing made, nothing, that is, cognizable either by 
the senses, or the understanding. Or thus ; Lest you should 
suspect the sentence, All things were made by Him, to refer 
to the miracles which the other Evangelists had related, he 
adds, and without Him was not any thing made. HILARY ;Hilar. 
Or thus; That all things were made by him, is pronouncing deTrin. 

c. 18. 

d The text of Aug. has et Dei con- e r -rv atrttit nt^i^avra <rs yiitnui 
ditorem, perhaps it should be, et Deo tv Kttrpsti <reji tvpiau^yu. Origen is 
contrarium, (as before Patri con trarium.) speaking of Heracleon, a disciple of 
Theoph. has avrihn. Valentinus. 


too much, it may be said. There is an Unbegotten Who is 

made of none, and there is the Son Himself begotten from 

Him Who is Unbegotten. The Evangelist however again 

implies the Author, when he speaks of Him as Associated ; 

saying, without Him was not any thing made. This, that 

nothing was made without Him, I understand to mean the 

Son's not being alone, for ' by whom' is one thing, ' not with- 

OHg. out whom' another. ORIGEN: Or thus, that thou mightest 

in dTv!" not think that the things made by the Word had a separate 

loc - existence, and were not contained in the Word, he says, 

and without Him was not any thing made: that is, not any 

thing was made externally of Him; for He encircles all 

Aug. things, as the Preserver of all things. AUG. Or, by saying, 

Test* 1 without Him was not any thing made, he tells us not to 

N. V. suspect Him in any sense to be a thing made. For how 

can He be a thing made, when God, it is said, made nothing 

Orig. without Him ? ORIGEN ; If all things were made by the Word, 

in Job. an( j ^ n ^e num jj er of all things is wickedness, and the whole 

torn. n. . ' 

c. 7. influx of sin, these too were made by the Word ; which is false. 

Now * nothing' and ' a thing which is not,' mean the same. 

And the Apostle seems to call wicked things, things which 

Rom. 4, are not, God calleth those things which be not, as though 

^' they were. All wickedness then is called nothing, forasmuch 

as it is made without the Word. Those who say however that 

the devil is not a creature of God, err. In so far as he is the 

devil, he is not a creature of God ; but he, whose character it 

is to be the devil, is a creature of God. It is as if we should 

say a murderer is not a creature of God, when, so far as he is 

Aug. in a man, he is a creature of God. AUG. For sin was not made 

tract. i. by Him; for it is manifest that sin is nothing, and that men 

c - 13 - become nothing when they sin. Nor was an idol made by 

the Word. It has indeed a sort of form of man, and man 

himself was made by the Word ; but the form of man in an 

1 Cor. 8, idol was not made by the Word: for it is written, we know 

that an idol is nothing. These then were not made by the 

Word; but whatever things were made naturally, the whole 

universe, were; every creature from an angel to a worm. 

Orig. ORIGEN ; Valentinus excludes from the things made by the 

c?.* 11 ' Word, all that were made in the ages which he believes to 

have existed before the Word. This is plainly false ; inasmuch 

VER. 4. ST. JOHN. 15 

as the things which he accounts divine are thus excluded from 
the "all things," and what he deems wholly corrupt are properly 
' all things !' AUG. The folly of those men is not to be listened Aug. de 
to, who think nothing is to be understood here as something, j^ u 
because it is placed at the end of the sentence 1 : as if it made 25. 
any difference whether it was said, without Him nothing was gat " " 
made, or, without Him was made nothing. ORIGEN ; If * the Orig. 
word' be taken for that which is in each man, inasmuch as it* ' "' 
was implanted in each by the Word, which was in the begin 
ning, then also, we commit nothing without this 'word' 
[reason] taking this word ' nothing' in a popular sense. For 
the Apostle says that sin was dead without the law, but when 
the commandment came, sin revived ; for sin is not imputed 
when there is no law. But neither was there sin, when there 
was no Word, for our Lord says, If I had not come and spoken j hn is, 
to them, they had not had sin. For every excuse is with- 22 ' 
drawn from the sinner, if, with the Word present, and enjoin 
ing what is to be done, he refuses to obey Him. Nor is the 
Word to be blamed on this account ; any more than a mas 
ter, whose discipline leaves no excuse open to a delinquent 
pupil on the ground of ignorance. All things then were made 
by the Word, not only the natural world, but also whatever 
is done by those acting without reason. Vulg. 


4. In him was life. ? stin . 

ipso vita 

BEDE; The Evangelist having said that every creature wasBedein 
made by the Word, lest perchance any one might think that 1 ' 
His will was changeable, as though He willed on a sudden 
to make a creature, which from eternity he had not made; 
he took care to shew that, though a creature was made in 
time, in the Wisdom of the Creator it had been from eternity 
arranged what and when He should create. AUG. The Aug. in 
passage can be read thus: What ivas made in Him was life 1 , j. 0t 'iQ 
Therefore the whole universe is life: for what was there notj^. 
made in Him ? He is the Wisdom of God, as is said, In p s . 104. 
Wisdom hast Thou made them all. All things therefore are 
made in Him, even as they are by Him. But, if whatever 
was made in Him is life, the earth is life, a stone is life. We 
must not interpret it so unsoundly, lest the sect of the 


Manicheans creep in upon us, and say, that a stone has life, 
and that a wall has life; for they do insanely assert so, and 
when reprehended or refuted, appeal as though to Scripture, 
and ask, why was it said, That which was made in Him 
was life? Read the passage then thus: make the stop after 
What was made, and then proceed, In Him was life. The 
earth was made ; but, the earth itself which was made is not 
life. In the Wisdom of God however there is spiritually a 
certain Reason after which the earlh is made. This is Life*. 
A chest in workmanship is not life, a chest in art is, inas 
much as the mind of the workman lives wherein that original 
pattern exists. And in this sense the Wisdom of God, by 
Which all things are made, containeth in art ' all things 
which are made, according to that art.' And therefore what 
ever is made, is not in itself life, but is life in Him. 
Origen. ORIGEN; It may also be divided thus: That which was 
indTv 11 ' ma ^ e him; and then, was life ; the sense being, that all 
loc. ante things that were made by Him and in Him, are life in Him, 
and are one in Him. They were, that is, in Him; they exist 
as the cause, before they exist in themselves as effects. If 
thou ask how and in what manner all things which were made 
by the Word subsist in Him vitally, immutably, causally, 
take some examples from the created world. See how that 
all things within the arch of the world of sense have their 
causes simultaneously and harmoniously subsisting in that 
sun which is the greatest luminary of the world : how multi 
tudinous crops of herbs and fruits are contained in single 
seeds: how the most complex variety of rules, in the art of 
the artificer, and the mind of the director, are a living unit, 
how an infinite number of lines coexist in one point. Con 
template these several instances, and thou wilt be able as it 
were on the wings of physical science, to penetrate with thy 
intellectual eye the secrets of the Word, and as far as is 
allowed to a human understanding, to see how all things 

1 The passage continues thus in the ence by workmanship. The chest is 

Tract. " I will explain my meaning, then first in workmanship; but does it 

A workman makes a chest. He first cease to be in art? there it remains 

has that chest in his art; for otherwise still, and there it will continue, the 

he could not make it. The chest how- pattern of other chests, when the first 

ever does not exist in his art, as a visible one has rotted. Mark the dis- 

visible chest ; it exists there invisibly, tinction between a chest in art, and a 

and is then brought into visible exist- chest in workmanship. A chest," &c. 

VER. 4. ST. JOHN. 17 

which were made by the Word, live in Him, and were made 
in Him. HILARY; Or it can be understood thus. In that he 
had said, without Him was not any thing made, one might have 
been perplexed, and have asked, Was then any thing made by 
another, which yet was not made without Him? if so, then 
though nothing is made without, all things are not made by 
Him : it being one thing to make, another to be with the maker. 
On this account the Evangelist declares what it was which 
was not made without Him, viz. what was made in Him. 
This then it was which was not made without Him, viz. what 
was made in Him. And that which was made in Him, was 
also made by Him. For all things were created in Him and by 
Him. Now things were made in Him, because He was bom 
God the Creator. And for this reason also things that were 
made in Him, were not made without Him, viz. that God, in that 
He was born, was life, and He who was life, was not made 
life after being born. Nothing then which was made in Him, 
was made without Him, because He was life, in Whom they 
were made; because God Who was born of God was God, 
not after, but in that He was born h . CHRYS. Or to give an-Chrys. 
other explanation. We will not put the stop at without Him [\ v ^ 'j n * 
was not any thing made, as the heretics do. For they wishing Joan - 
to prove the Holy Ghost a creature, read, That which was 
made in Him, was life. But this cannot be so understood. 
For first, this was not the place for making mention of the 
Holy Ghost. But let us suppose it was ; let us take the 
passage for the present according to their reading, we shall 
see that it leads to a difficulty. For when it is said, Tliat 
which was made in Him, was life ; they say the life spoken 
of is the Holy Ghost. But this life is also light ; for the 
Evangelist proceeds, The life was the light of men. Where 
fore according to them, he calls the Holy Ghost the light of 
all men. But the Word mentioned above, is what he here 
calls consecutively, God, and Life, and Light. Now the 
Word was made flesh. It follows that the Holy Ghost is in 
carnate, not the Son. Dismissing then this reading, we adopt a 
more suitable one, with the following meaning : All things 

i> i. e. the Son ever being what He Creator, in that He was, and always 

is, in that He is, " Living of Living, equally the Creator, and so of all things, 

Perfect of Perfect," not [as man] re- because what He was, He was always, 

ceiving subsequently, He was the in that He was. 


were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing 
made which was made : there we make a stop, and begin 
a fresh sentence : In Him was life. Without Him was not 

yiKT any thing made which was made ; i. e. which could be made. 
You see how by this short addition, he removes any difficulty 
which might follow. For by introducing without Him was 
not any thing made, and adding, which was made, he in 
cludes all things invisible, and excepts the Holy Spirit : for 

)vftnv(- the Spirit cannot be made. To the mention of creation, 
succeeds that of providence. In Him was life 1 . As a fountain 
which produces vast depths of water, and yet is nothing di 
minished at the fountain head ; so worketh the Only-Begotten. 
How great soever His creations be, He Himself is none the 
less for them. By the word life here is meant not only 
creation, but that providence by which the things created are 
preserved. But when you are told that in Him was life, do 

John 6, not suppose Him compounded ; for, as the Father hath life 
in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Him 
self. As then you would not call the Father compounded, so 

Orig. neither should you the Son. ORIGEN; Or thus: Our Saviour 

13.' ' 'is said to be some things not for Himself, but for others; 
others again, both for Himself and others. When it is said 
then, That which was made in Him was life; we must 
enquire whether the life is for Himself and others, or for 
others only; and if for others, for whom ? Now the Life and 
the Light are both the same Person : He is the light of men : 
He is therefore their life. The Saviour is called Life here, 
not to Himself, but to others; whose Light He also is. This 
life is inseparable from the Word, from the time it is added 
on to it. For Reason or the Word must exist before in the 
soul, cleansing it from sin, till it is pure enough to receive the 
life, which is thus ingrafted or inborn in every one who 
renders himself fit to receive the Word of God. Hence ob 
serve, that though the Word itself in the beginning was not 
made, the Beginning never having been without the Word; 
yet the life of men was not always in the Word. This life 
of men was made, in that It was the light of men; and 

1 rn ri{< T voeveiKf xy. Life, he not be incredulous as to so many things 
says. The Horn, continues : Life, the having come from Him. For as, 
Evangelist says, in order that we might &c. 

VER. 4. ST. JOHN. 19 

this light of men could not be before man was; the light of 
men being understood relatively to men k . And therefore he 
says, That which was made in the Word was life ; not That 
which was iu the Word was life. Some copies read, not 
amiss, " That which was made, in Him is life? If we un 
derstand the life in the Word, to be He who says below, 
* I am the life,' we shall confess that none who believe not Johnii, 
in Christ live, and that all who live not in God, are dead. ' ' ' 

And the life was the light of men. 

THEOPHYL. He had said, In him wan life, that you might Theoph. 
not suppose that the Word was without life. Now he shews 111 
that that life is spiritual, and the light of all reasonable 
creatures. And the life was the light of men : i. e. not 
sensible, but intellectual light, illuminating the very soul. 
AUG. Life of itself gives illumination to men, but to cattle Aug. in 
not: for they have not rational souls, by which to discern ^ ig. 
wisdom: whereas man, being made in the image of God, has 
a rational soul, by which he can discern wisdom. Hence that 
life, by which all things are made, is light, not however of all 
animals whatsoever, but of men. THEOPHYL. He saith not, 
the Light of the Jews only, but of all men : for all of us, in so 
far as we have received intellect and reason, from that Word 
which created us, are said to be illuminated by Him. For 
the reason which is given to us, and which constitutes us the 
reasonable, beings we are, is a light directing us what to do, 
and what not to do. ORIGEN ; We must not omit to notice, Orig. 
that he puts the life before the light of men. For it would non occ ' 
be a contradiction to suppose a being without life to be 
illuminated; as if life were an addition to illumination. But torn. ii. 
to proceed: if the life was the light of men, meaning men c ' 
only, Christ is the light and the life of men only; an 
heretical supposition. It does not follow then, when a thing is 
predicated of any, that it is predicated of those only ; for of 
God it is written, that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob ; and yet He is not the God of those fathers" only. In 
the same way, the light of men is not excluded from being 
the light of others as well. Some moreover contend from c. 17. 




Gen. 1, Genesis, Let us make man after our image, that man means 
whatever is made after the image and similitude of God. If 
so, the light of men is the light of any rational creature what 

5. And the light shineth in darkness. 

Aug. tr. AUG. Whereas that life is the light of men, but foolish 

1 '' 19 ' hearts cannot receive that light, being so incumbered with 

sins that they cannot see it ; for this cause lest any should 

think there is no light near them, because they cannot see it, 

he continues: And the light shineth in darkness, and the 

darkness comprehended it not. For suppose a blind man 

standing in the sun, the sun is present to him, but he is 

absent from the sun. In like manner every fool is blind, and 

wisdom is present to him ; but, though present, absent from 

his sight, forasmuch as sight is gone : the 'truth being, not 

that she is absent from him, but that he is absent from her. 

Orig. in ORiGEN ; This kind of darkness however is not in men by 

n.c? 14. nature, according to the text in the Ephesians, Ye were some- 

E P h - 5 > time darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord l . ORIGEN ; 

Orig. Or thus, The light shineth in the darkness of faithful souls, 

Horn. ii. 

in div. i Nicolai, for this passage which sometime darkness, but now light in the 

'""- is incorrectly given, substitutes the Lord; although we be in some degree 

following. (Origen, Tom. ii. c. 13. holy and spiritual. Whosoever was 

in Job.) Now if the life is one with sometime darkness, did, as Paul, be- 

the light of men, none who in darkness come darkness, although being capable 

lives, and none who lives is in dark- and framed such as to be made light in 

ness; since every one who lives is also the Lord. And again, The light of 

in light, and conversely, whoever is in men is our Lord Jesus Christ, Who 

light, also lives. Again, as in thus dis- manifested Himself in human nature to 

coursing on contraries, we may under- every rational and intelligent creature, 

stand the contraries to them which are and opened to the hearts of the faithful 

omitted, andlife, and thelight of men, are the mysteries of His Divinity, in Which 

the subjects of our discourse; and the He is equal to the Father; according 

contrary of life is death, and the contrary to the Apostle's saying, (Eph. 5, 8.) 

of the light of men is the darkness of men: Ye were sometime darkness, but now 

we may perceive, that whoever is in are ye light in the Lord. Hence the 

darkness, is also in death, and he who light shineth in darkness, because the 

does the works of death, is certainly in whole human race, not by nature but 

darkness ; whereas he who does the as the desert of original sin, was in the 

things which are of the light, that is, darkness of ignorance of the truth; but 

he whose works shine before men, and after His Birth of the Virgin, Christ 

who is mindful of God, is not in death, shineth in the hearts of those who 

as we read in Ps. vi. He is not in discern Him. But because there are 

death who remembereth thee. [Vulg. some who still abide in the most pro- 

Quoniam non est ijn morte qui memor found darkness of impiety and deceit, 

sit tui. Eng. T. Tn death no man re- the Evangelist adds, And the darkness 

membereth thee.] But whether men's comprehended it not ; as though he 

darkness and death are so by nature or would say, The Light, &c. 
not, is another consideration. We were 


VEIL 5. ST. JOHN. 21 

beginning from faith, and drawing onwards to hope ; but the 
deceit and ignorance of undisciplined souls did not com 
prehend the light of the Word of God shining in the flesh. 
That however is an ethical meaning. The metaphysical 
signification of the words is as follows. Human nature, even 
though it sinned not, could not shine by its own strength 
simply; for it is not naturally light, but only a recipient 
of it ; it is capable of containing wisdom, but is not wisdom 
itself. As the air, of itself, shineth not, but is called by the 
name of darkness, even so is our nature, considered in itself, 
a dark substance, which however admits of and is made par 
taker of the light of wisdom. And as when the air receives 
the sun's rays, it is not said to shine of itself, but the sun's 
radiance to be apparent in it; so the reasonable part of our 
nature, while possessing the presence of the Word of God, 
does not of itself understand God, and intellectual things, but 
by means of the divine light implanted in it. Thus, The 
light shineth in darkness: for the Word of God, the life and 
the light of men, ceaseth not to shine in our nature; though 
regarded in itself, that nature is without form and darkness. 
And forasmuch as pure light cannot be comprehended by any 
creature, hence the text: The darkness comprehended it not. 
CHRYS. Or thus : throughout the whole foregoing passage he Chrys. 
had been speaking of creation ; then he mentions the spiritual Jr ? 1 3* 
benefits which the Word brought with it : and the life was the 
light of men. He saith not, the light of Jews, but of all men 
without exception ; for not the Jews only, but the Gentiles 
also have come to this knowledge. The Angels he 
omits, for he is speaking of human nature, to whom the 
Word came bringing glad tidings. ORIGEN ; But they ask, Ori s-.. 
why is not the Word Itself called the light of men, instead of j n j' an. 
the life which is in the Word ? We reply, that the life here c- 19 - 
spoken of is not that which rational and irrational animals have 
in common, but that which is annexed to the Word which is 
within us through participation of the primaeval Word. For we 
must distinguish the external and false life, from the desirable 
and true. We are first made par takers of life: and this life with 
some is light potentially only, not in act; with those, viz. who 
are not eager to search out the things which appertain to 
knowledge : with others it is actual light, those who, as the 


1 Cor. Apostle saith, covet earnestly the best gifts, that is to say, 
cfif. 1 tne wof d f wisdom. (If k the life and the light of men are the 
same, whoso is in darkness is proved not to live, and none 
Chrys. who liveth abideth in darkness. CHRYS I . Life having come 
pv/jc.3! to us tne empire of death is dissolved; a light having shone 
upon us, there is darkness no longer : but there remaineth 
ever a life which death, a light which darkness cannot over 
come. Whence he continues, And the light shineth in dark 
ness : by darkness meaning death and error, for sensible 
light does not shine in darkness, but darkness must be re 
moved first; whereas the preaching of Christ shone forth 
amidst the reign of error, and caused it to disappear, and 
Christ by dying changed death into life, so overcoming it, 
that, those who were already in its grasp, were brought back 
again. Forasmuch then as neither death nor error hath 
overcome his light, which is every where conspicuous, 
shining forth by its own strength ; therefore he adds, And 
Orig. the darkness comprehended it not m . ORIGEN ; As the light 
c. 20. f men is a word expressing two spiritual things, so is dark 
ness also. To one who possesses the light, we attribute both 
the doing the deeds of the light, and also true understanding, 
inasmuch as he is illuminated by the light of knowledge : 
and, on the other hand, the term darkness we apply both to 
unlawful acts, and also to that knowledge, which seems such, 
but is not. Now as the Father is light, and in Him is no 
darkness at all, so is the Saviour also. Yet, inasmuch as he 
underwent the similitude of our sinful flesh, it is not incor 
rectly said of Him, that in Him there was some darkness; 
for He took our darkness upon Himself, in order that He 
might dissipate it. This Light therefore, which was made the 
life of man, shines in the darkness of our hearts, when the 
prince of this darkness wars with the human race. This 
Light the darkness persecuted, as is clear from what our 
Saviour and His children suffer; the darkness fighting against 

* Nicolai omits this clause, as not that life which is received by creation, 

being Origen's, nor fitting in with but that perpetual and immortal life 

what precedes and substitutes, "which which is prepared for us by the Provi- 

is afterwards followed by the word of dence of God." Life having, &c. 

knowledge, &c." m j. e . cou id no t g e f hold of it; for 

1 Nicolai inserts from S. Chrys., in Chrysostom adds, it is too strong to be 

order to make the connection clear, contended with. 
" The word ' life' means here not only 

VER. 6, 7, 8. ST. JOHN. 23 

the children of light. But, forasmuch as God takes up the 
cause, they do uot prevail; nor do they apprehend the light, for 
they are either of too slow a nature to overtake the light's quick 
course, or, waiting for it to come up to them, they are put to 
flight at its approach. We should bear in mind, however, 
that darkness is not always used in a bad sense, but 
sometimes in a good, as in Psalm xvii. He made darkness His Ps. is, 
secret place : the things of God being unknown and incompre 
hensible. This darkness then I will call praiseworthy, since 
it tends toward light, and lays hold on it: for, though it 
were darkness before, while it was not known, yet it is 
turned to light and knowledge in him who has learned. 
AUG. A certain Platonist once said, that the beginning of this 
Gospel ought to be copied in letters of gold, and placed rj e i ]. x . 
in the most conspicuous place in every church. BEDE ; c ; 29 - 
The other Evangelists describe Christ as born in time ; Bede, 
John witnesseth that He was in the beginning, saying, m loc< 
In the beginning was the Word. The others describe His 
sudden appearance among men ; he witnesseth that He was 
ever with God, saying, And the Word was with God. The 
others prove Him very man ; he very God, saying, And the 
Word was God. The others exhibit Him as man conversing 
with men for a season ; he pronounces Him God abiding with 
God in the beginning, saying, The Same was in the beginning 
with God. The others relate the great deeds which He did 
amongst men ; he that God the Father made every creature 
through Him, saying, All things were made by Him, and 
without Him was not any thing made. 

6. There was a man sent from God, whose name 
was John. 

7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of 
the Light, that all men through him might believe. 

8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear 
witness of that Light. 

AUG. What is said above, refers to the Divinity of Christ. Aug. 

Tr. ii 
c. 2. 

He came to us in the form of man, but man in such sense, as r ' "' 

that the G odhead was concealed within Him. And therefore 


there was sent before a great man, to declare by his witness 

that He was more than man. And who was this ? He was 

a man. THEOPHYL. Not an Angel, as many have held. 

Aug. The Evangelist here refutes such a notion. AUG. And how 

Tr< "' could he declare the truth concerning God, unless he were 

Chrys. sent from God. CHRYS. After this esteem nothing that he 

rvTc' savs as human; for he speaketh not his own, but his that 

sent him. And therefore the Prophet calls him a messenger, 

Mai. 3, I send My messenger, for it is the excellence of a messenger, 

1- to say nothing of his own. But the expression, was sent, does 

Isai. 6, not mean his entrance into life, but to his office. As Esaias was 

sent on his commission, not from any place out of the world, 

but from where he saw the Lord sitting upon His high and 

lofty throne ; in like manner John was sent from the desert 

John i, to baptize ; for he says, He that sent me to baptize with water, 

the same said unto me, Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit 

descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which 

Aug. bapiizeth with the Holy Ghost. AUG. What was he called ? 

whose name was John? ALCUIN. That is, the grace of God, or 

one in whom is grace, who by his testimony first made 

known to the world the grace of the New Testament, that is, 

Christ. Or John may be taken to mean, to whom it is given : 

because that through the grace of God, to him it was given, 

not only to herald, but also to baptize the King of kings. 

Aug. AUG. Wherefore came he ? The same came for a witness, to 

o. 6. bear witness of the Light. ORIGEN ; Some try to undo the 

^- c testimonies of the Prophets to Christ, by saying that the Son 

28. of God had no need of such witnesses; the wholesome words 

which He uttered and His miraculous acts being sufficient to 

produce belief; just as Moses deserved belief for his speech 

and goodness, and wanted no previous witnesses. To this 

we may reply, that, where there are a number of reasons to 

make people believe, persons are often impressed by one 

kind of proof, and not by another, and God, Who for the 

sake of all men became man, can give them many reasons 

for belief in Him. And with respect to the doctrine of 

the Incarnation, certain it is that some have been forced 

by the Prophetical writings into an admiration of Christ 

by the fact of so many prophets having, before His advent, 

fixed the place of His nativity ; and by other proofs of the 

VKR. 6, 7, 8. ST. JOHN. 25 

same kind. It is to be remembered too, that, though the 
display of miraculous powers might stimulate the faith of 
those who lived in the same age with Christ, they might, in 
the lapse of time, fail to do so ; as some of them might even get 
to be regarded as fabulous. Prophecy and miracles together 
are more convincing than simply past miracles by themselves. 
We must recollect too that men receive honour themselves 
from the witness which they bear to God. He deprives the 
Prophetical choir of immeasurable honour, whoever denies 
that it was their office to bear witness to Christ. John when 
he comes to bear witness to the light, follows in the train 
of those who went before him. CHRYS. Not because the light Chrys. 
wanted the testimony, but for the reason which John him- ri.ry.] 
self gives, viz. that all might believe on Him, For as He injoh< 
put on flesh to save all men from death ; so He sent before Him 
a human preacher, that the sound of a voice like their own, 
might the readier draw men to Him. BEDEJ He saith not, Bed. in 
that all men should believe in him ; for, cursed be the man j e j. 17 
that trusteth in man ; but, that all men through him might 5 - 
believe ; i. e. by his testimony believe in the Light. THE- 
OPHYL. Though some however might not believe, he is not 
accountable for them. When a man shuts himself up in a 
dark room, so as to receive no light from the sun's rays, he is 
the cause of the deprivation, not the sun. In like manner John 
was sent, that all men might believe ; but if no such result 
followed, he is not the cause of the failure. CHRYS. Foras- Chrys. 
much however as with us, the one who witnesses, is com-j n j h. 
monly a more important, a more trustworthy person, than the c - * 
one to whom he bears witness, to do away with any such 
notion in the present case the Evangelist proceeds ; He was 
not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 
If this were not his intention, in repeating the words, to bear 
witness of the Light, the addition would be superfluous, and 
rather a verbal repetition, than the explanation of a truth. 
THEOPHYL. But it will be said, that we do not allow John 
or any of the saints to be or ever to have been light. The 
difference is this : If we call any of the saints light, we put 
light without the article. So if asked whether John is light, 
without the article, thou mayest allow without hesitation that 
he is : if with the article, thou allow it not. For he is not 


very, original, light, but is only called so, on account of his 
partaking of the light, which cometh from the true Light. 

9. That was the true Light which lighteth every 
man that cometh into the world. 

Aug. AUG. What Light it is to which John bears witness, he 

HKioan. g j aews himself, saying, That was the true Light. CHRYS. Or 

Chrys. thus ; Having said above that John had come, and was sent, 

in Joan, to bear witness of the Light, lest any from the recent coming 

vn. [vi.] o f t jj e witness, should infer the same of Him who is witnessed 

to, the Evangelist takes us back to that existence which is 

Aug. beyond all beginning, saying, That was the true Light. AUG. 

inJoh..* Wherefore is there added, true? Because man enlightened 

? is called light, but the true Light is that which lightens. For 

our eyes are called lights, and yet, without a lamp at night, 

or the sun by day, these lights are open to no purpose. 

Wherefore he adds : which lighteneth every man : but if 

every man, then John himself. He Himself then enlightened 

the person, by whom He wished Himself to be pointed out. 

And just as we may often, from the reflexion of the sun's rays 

on some object, know the sun to be risen, though we cannot 

look at the sun itself; as even feeble eyes can look at an 

illuminated wall, or some object of that kind : even so, those 

to whom Christ came, being too weak to behold Him, He 

threw His rays upon John; John confessed the illumination, 

and so the Illuminator Himself was discovered. It is said, 

that cometh into the world. Had man not departed from 

Him, he had not had to be enlightened ; but therefore is he 

to be here enlightened, because he departed thence, when 

Theoph. he might have been enlightened. THEOPHYL. Let the Mani- 

chean blush, who pronounces us the creatures of a dark and 

malignant creator: for we should never be enlightened, were 

Chrya. we not the children of the true Light. CHRYS. Where are those 

?ffi.^a. too > who den y Him to be very God ? We see here that He 

is called very Light. But if He lighteneth every man that 

cometh into the world, how is it that so many have gone on 

without light? For all have not known the worship of 

Christ. The answer is : He only enlighteneth every man, so 

far as pertains to Him. If men shut their eyes, and will not 

VER. 10. ST. JOHN 27 

receive the rays of this light, their darkness arises not from 
the fault of the light, but from their own wickedness, inas 
much as they voluntarily deprive themselves of the gift of 
grace. For grace is poured out upon all ; and they, who 
will not enjoy the gift, may impute it to their own blindness. 
AUG. Or the words, lighteneth every man, may be under- Aug. 
stood to mean, not that there is no one who is not enlightened, M er> ecc 
but that no one is enlightened except by Him. BEDE ; In- et Re - 


eluding both natural and divine wisdom; for as no one cani.c.xxv. 
exist of himself, so no one can be wise of himself. OmGENjOrig. 
Or thus : We must not understand the words, lighteneth every ? d ^ 2 > 
man that cometh into the world, of the growth from hidden loc. 
seeds to organized bodies, but of the entrance into the invisi 
ble world, by the spiritual regeneration and grace, which is 
given in Baptism. Those then the true Light lighteneth, 
who come into the world of goodness, not those who rush 
into the world of sin. THEOPHYL. Or .thus: The intellect Theoph. 
which is given in us for our direction, and which is called in 
natural reason, is said here to be a light given us by God. But 
some by the ill use of their reason have darkened themselves. 

10. He was in the world, and the world was made 
by him, and the world knew him not. 

AUG. The Light which lighteneth every man that cometh Aug. 
into the world, came here in the flesh; because while Hej^ 11 
was here in His Divinity alone, the foolish, blind, and un-c. 8. 
righteous could not discern Him ; those of whom it is said 
above, The darkness comprehended it not. Hence the text ; 
He was in the world. ORIGEN ; For as, when a person Orig. 
leaves off speaking, his voice ceases to be, and vanishes; so? ^ 
if the Heavenly Father should cease to speak His Word, the loc. 
effect of that Word, i. e. the universe which is created in the 
Word, shall cease to exist. AUG. You must not suppose, Aug. 
however, that He was in the world in the same sense in which . Jo. 
the earth, cattle, men, are in the world ; but in the sense in 
which an artificer controls his own work ; whence the text, 
And the world was made by Him. Nor again did He make 
it after the manner of an artificer ; for whereas an artificer is 


external to what he fabricates, God pervades the world, 
carrying on the work of creation in every part, and never 
absent from any part : by the presence of His Majesty He 
both makes and controls what is made. Thus He was in the 
Chrys. world, as He by Whom the world was made. CHRYS. And 
in Joan, again, because He was in the world, but not coeval with the 
viii ' c ' 1< world, for this cause he introduced the words, and the world 
was made by Him: thus taking you back again to the eternal 
existence of the Only-Begotten. For when we are told that 
the whole of creation was made by Him, we must be very 
dull not to acknowledge that the Maker existed before the THEOPHYL. Here he overthrows at once the insane 
notion of the Manichaean , who says that the world is the work 
of a malignant creature, and the opinion of the Arian, that 
Aug. the Son of God is a creature. AUG. But what meaneth this, 
JoanNi T^ 16 wor ^ was ma d e by Him ? The earth, sky, and sea, and 
c. 11. all that are therein, are called the world. But in another 
sense, the lovers of the world are called the world, of whom 
he says, And the world knew Him not. For did the sky, or 
Angels, not know their Creator, Whom the very devils con 
fess, Whom the whole universe has borne witness to ? Who 
then did not know Him ? Those who, from their love of the 
world, are called the world ; for such live in heart in the 
world, while those who do not love it, have their body in the 
Phil. 3, world, but their heart in heaven ; as saith the Apostle, our 
conversation is in heaven. By their love of the world, such 
men merit being called by the name of the place where they 
live. And just as in speaking of a bad house, or good house, 
we do not mean praise or blame to the walls, but to the 
inhabitants ; so when we talk of the world, we mean those 
Chrys. w ho live there in the love of it. CHRYS. But they who were 
viii.c.8. the friends of God, knew Him even before His presence in the 
66> body ; whence Christ saith below, Your father Abraham re 
joiced to see My day. When the Gentiles then interrupt us with 
the question, Why has He come in these last times to work 
our salvation, having neglected us so long ? we reply, that 
He was in the world before, superintending what He had 
made, and was known to all who were worthy of Him ; and 
that, if the world knew Him not, those of whom the world 
So Theoph. Other copies have " of Marcion." 

VER. 11 13. ST. JOHN. 29 

was not worthy knew Him. The reason follows, why the 
world knew Him not. The Evangelist calls those men the 
world, who are tied to the world, and savour of worldly things ; 
for there is nothing that disturbs the mind so much, as this 
melting with the love of present things. 

11. He came unto his own, and his own received 
him not. 

12. But as many as received him, to them gave he 
power to become the sons of God, even to them that 
believe on his name : 

13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will 
of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

CHRYS. When He said that the world knew Him not, he Chrys. 
referred to the times of the old dispensation, but what follows jo^.' 
has reference to the time of his preaching; He came unto ix - * 
his own. AUG. Because all things were made by Him. THEO- Aug. 
PHYL. By his own, understand either the world, or Judaea, 
which He had chosen for His inheritance. CHRYS. He came Chrys. 
then unto His own, not for His own good, but for the good ^n"i 2 
of others. But whence did He Who fills all things, and is 
every where present, come ? He came out of condescension 
to us, though in reality He had been in the world all along. 
But the world not seeing Him, because it knew Him not, He 
deigned to put on flesh. And this manifestation and conde 
scension is called His advent. But the merciful God so con 
trives His dispensations, that we may shine forth in propor 
tion to our goodness, and therefore He will not compel, but 
invites men, by persuasion and kindness, to come of their own 
accord : and so, when He came, some received Him, and 
others received Him not. He desires not an unwilling and 
forced service; for no one who comes unwillingly devotes 
himself wholly to Him. Whence what follows, And his own 
received him not. He here calls the Jews His own, as being Hom.ix. 
his peculiar people ; as indeed are all men in some sense, ^ in 'J l ' 
being made by Him. And as above, to the shame of our 
common nature, he said, that the world which was made by 
Him, knew not its Maker : so here again, indignant at the in- 


gratitude of the Jews, he brings a heavier charge, viz. that His 
Aug.Tr. own received Him not. AUG. But if none at all received, 
ii" i2. aD none will be saved. For no one will be saved, but he who 
received Christ at His coming ; and therefore he adds, As 
Chrys. many as received Him. CHRYS. Whether they be bond or ee > Greek or Barbarian, wise or unwise, women or men, the 
x. [ix.] young or the aged, all are made meet for the honour, which 
the Evangelist now proceeds to mention. To them gave He 
Aug. power to become the sons of God. AUG. O amazing goodness ! 
' He was born the Only Son, yet would not remain so ; but 
grudged not to admit joint heirs to His inheritance. Nor was 
Chrys. this narrowed by many partaking of it. CHRYS. Hesaithnot 
x^fTx 1 ^ na ^ ^ e ma de them the sons of God, but gave them power to 
2. become the sons of God: shewing that there is need of 
much care, to preserve the image, which is formed by our 
adoption in Baptism, untarnished: and shewing at the same 
time also that no one can take this power from us, except we 
rob ourselves of it. Now, if the delegates of worldly govern 
ments have often nearly as much power as those governments 
themselves, much more is this the case with us, who derive 
our dignity from God. But at the same time the Evangelist 
wishes to shew that this grace comes to us of our own will 
and endeavour : that, in short, the operation of grace being 
supposed, it is in the power of our free will to make us the 
sons of God. THEOPHYL. Or the meaning is, that the most 
perfect sonship will only be attained at the resurrection, as 
Kom.8,saith the Apostle, Waiting for the adoption, to wit, the 


redemption of our body. He therefore gave us the power to 
become the sons of God, i. e. the power of obtaining this 

Chrys. grace at some future time. CHRYS. And because in the 

2 OI *' matter of these ineffable benefits, the giving of grace belongs 
to God, but the extending of faith to man, He subjoins, 
even to those who believe on his name. Why then declarest 
thou not, John, the punishment of those who received Him 
not? Is it because there is no greater punishment than that, 
when the power of becoming the sons of God is offered to 
men, they should not become such, but voluntarily deprive 
themselves of the dignity ? But besides this, inextinguishable 

Aug.Tr. fire awaits all such, as will appear clearly farther on. AUG. 

"' 14t To be made then the sons of God, and brothers of Christ, 

VER. 14. ST. JOHN. 31 

they must of course be bom ; for if they are not born, how 
can they be sons ? Now the sons of men are born of flesh 
and blood, and the will of man, and the embrace of wedlock; 
but how these are born, the next words declare: Not of 
bloods 1 ; that is, the male's and the female's. Bloods is not '$!<>- 
correct Latin, but as it is plural in the Greek, the translator rtat 
preferred to put it so, though it be not strictly grammatical, 
at the same time explaining the word in order not to offend 
the weakness of one's hearers. BEDE ; It should be understood 
that in holy Scripture, blood in the plural number, has the 
signification of sin : thus in the Psalms, Deliver me from blood- Ps - 51 > 
guiltiness*. AUG. In that which follows, Nor of the will of Aug. 
the flesJ^ nor of the will of man, the flesh is put for the Tr - li-14> 
female; because, when she was made out of the rib, Adam 
said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh. Gen. 2, 
The flesh therefore is put for the wife, as the spirit some 
times is for the husband ; because that the one ought to 
govern, the other to obey. For what is there worse than an 
house, where the woman hath rule over the man ? But these 
that we speak of are born neither of the will of the flesh, 
nor the will of man, but of God. BEDE; The carnal birth 
of men derives its origin from the embrace of wedlock, but 
the spiritual is dispensed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. 
CHRYS. The Evangelist makes this declaration, that being Chrys. 
taught the vileness and inferiority of our former birth, which ffxT's*' 
is through blood, and the will of the flesh, and understanding 
the loftiness and nobleness of the second, which is through 
grace, we might hence receive great knowledge, worthy of 
being bestowed by him who begat us, and after this shew 
forth much zeal. 

14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. 

AUG. Having said, Born of God; to prevent surprise and Aug. 
trepidation at so great, so apparently incredible a grace, r - 11>15> 
as that men should be bora of God; to assure us, he says, 
And the Word was made flesh. Why marvellest thou then 
that men are born of God ? Know that God Himself 
was born of man. CHRYS. Or thus, After saying that they 

P Plur. in the Vulg. as in the Heb. 


were born of God, who received Him, he sets forth the cause 

of this honour, viz. the Word being made flesh, God's own 

Son was made the son of man, that he might make the sons 

of men the sons of God. Now when thou hearest that 

the Word was made flesh, be not disturbed, for He did not 

change His substance into flesh, which it were indeed 

impious to suppose ; but remaining what He was, took upon 

Him the form of a servant. But as there are some who say, 

that the whole of the incarnation w r as only in appearance, 

to refute such a blasphemy, he used the expression, was 

made, meaning to represent not a conversion of substance, 

but an assumption of real flesh. But if they say, God is 

omnipotent ; why then could He not be changed into flesh ? 

we reply, that a change from an unchangeable nature is 

Aug. a contradiction. AUG. As our word q becomes the bodily 

xv.c.2o! voice, by its assumption of that voice, as a means of developing 

(*') itself externally ; so the Word of God was made flesh, by 

assuming flesh, as a means of manifesting Itself to the world. 

And as our word is made voice, yet is not turned into voice ; 

so the Word of God was made flesh, but never turned into 

flesh. It is by assuming another nature, not by consuming 

themselves in it, that our word is made voice, and the Word, 

p - i- flesh. Ex GESTIS CONG. EPH. The discourse which we utter, 

Theod. which we use in conversation with each other, is incorporeal, 

Ancyr. imperceptible, impalpable ; but clothed in letters and cha- 

Dom. racters, it becomes material, perceptible, tangible. So too the 

Word of God, which was naturally invisible, becomes visible, 

and that comes before us in tangible form, which was by nature 

in Joan, incorporeal. ALCDIN. When we think how the incorporeal 

' ' soul is joined to the body, so as that of two is made one 

man, we too shall the more easily receive the notion of the 

incorporeal Divine substance being joined to the soul in the 

body, in unity of person ; so as that the Word is not turned 

into flesh, nor the flesh into the Word; just as the soul is 

not turned into body, nor the body into soul. 

Theoph. THEOPHYL. Apollinarius of Laoclicea raised a heresy upon 
this text ; saying, that Christ had flesh only, not a rational 
Aug. S oul; in the place of which His divinity directed and con- 
Serin, trolled His body. AUG. If men are disturbed however by its 


c 7. (9.) ' see above, p. 1 3. 

VER. 13. ST. JOHN. 83 

being said that the Word was made flesh, without mention 
of a soul; let them know that the flesh is put for the whole 
man, the part for the whole, by a figure of speech; as 
in the Psalms, Unto thee shall all flesh come; and again Ps.65,2. 
in Romans, By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh AeRom. 3, 
justified. In the same sense it is said here that the Word 
was made flesh ; meaning that the Word was made man. 
THEOPHYL. The Evangelist intends by making mention of Theoph. 
the flesh, to shew the unspeakable condescension of God, m 
and lead us to admire His compassion, in assuming for our 
salvation, what was so opposite and incongenial to His nature, 
as the flesh : for the soul has some propinquity to God. If 
the Word, however, was made flesh, and assumed not at the 
same time a human soul, our souls, it would follow, would not 
be yet restored : for what He did not assume, He could not 
sanctify. What a mockery then, when the soul first sinned, 
to assume and sanctify the flesh only, leaving the weakest part 
untouched ! This text overthrows Nestorius, who asserted 
that it was not the very Word, even God, Who the Self-same 
was made man, being conceived of the sacred blood of the 
Virgin : but that the Virgin brought forth a man endowed 
with every kind of virtue, and that the Word of God was united 
to him : thus making out two sons, one born of the Virgin, 
i. e. man, the other born of God, that is, the Son of God, 
united to that man by grace, and relation, and love r . In 
opposition to him the Evangelist declares, that the very 
Word was made Man, not that the Word fixing upon a 
righteous man united Himself to him. CYRIL; The Word c / ril ' ad 

uniting to Himself a body of flesh animated with a rational 8. 

soul, substantially, was ineffably and incomprehensibly made 
Man, and called the Son of man, and that not according to 
the will only, or good-pleasure, nor again by the assumption 
of the Person alone. The natures are different indeed which 
are brought into true union, but He Who is of both, 
Christ the Son, is One ; the difference of the natures, on the 

T The union of the two Natures in of the Manhood, as united externally, 

our Lord, xara, t^iffn, or ff%tnxi> ffuid- by dignity, or likeness of honour, or 

(fua, in the Nestorian heresy, stands unity of will, or good-pleasure, or love, 

opposed to the belief of their " natural" or affection, or power, instead of being 

liufif ifuffixti in one Person. ff%iffit is used "taken into God." See Petav. de 

for " relation, cognateness, affection, Incarn. iii. 3. 
conjunction," to describe a " nearness" 


other hand, not being destroyed in consequence of this coa- 
Theoph.Htion. THEOPHYL. From the text, The Word was made flesh, 
1 v ' 14- we learn this farther, that the Word Itself is man, and being 
the Son of God was made the Son of a woman, who is rightly 
called the Mother of God, as having given birth to God in the 
Hil. x. flesh. HILARY; Some, however, who think God the Only-Be- 
0.21,22! gotten, God the Word, Who was in the beginning withGod,not 
to be God substantially, but a Word sent forth, the Son being 
to God the Father, what a word is to one who utters it, these 
men, in order to disprove that the Word, being substantially 
God, and abiding in the form of God, was born the Man Christ, 
argue subtilly, that, whereas that Man (they say) derived His 
life rather from human origin than from the mystery of a 
spiritual conception, God the Word did not make Himself 
Man of the womb of the Virgin ; but that the Word of God 
was in Jesus, as the spirit of prophecy in the Prophets. And 
they are accustomed to charge us with holding, that Christ 
was born a Man, not 1 of our body and soul; whereas we 
preach the Word made flesh, and after our likeness born 
Man, so that He Who is truly Son of God, was truly born 
Son of man ; and that, as by His own act He took upon Him 
a body of the Virgin, so of Himself He took a soul also, which 
in no case is derived from man by mere parental origin. 
And seeing He, The Self-same, is the Son of man, how 
absurd were it, besides the Son of God, Who is the Word, 
to make Him another person besides, a sort of prophet, in 
spired by the Word of God ; whereas our Lord Jesus Christ 
Chrys. is both the Son of God, and the Son of man. CHRYS. Lest 
in Joan, from it being said, however, that the Word was made Jlesh, 
xi. [x.] y OU should infer improperly a change of His incorruptible 
nature, he subjoins, And dwelt among us. For that which 
inhabits is not the same, but different from the habitation : 
different, I say, in nature ; though as to union and conjunction, 
God the Word and the flesh are one, without confusion or 
extinction of substance. ALCUIN ; Or, dwelt among us, 
means, lived amongst men. 

14. And we saw his glory, the glory as of the only 
begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 

* non is omitted in some Mss ; but throughout guards against Sabellianism. 
S. Hilary in writing against the Arians, Ben. 

VER. 14. ST. JOHN. 35 

CHRYS. Having said that we arc made the sons of God, Chrys. 
and in no other way than because the Word was made flesh; x ;r^i i 
he mentions another gift, And we saw His glory. Which i- 
glory we should not have seen, had He not, by His alliance 
with humanity, become visible to us. For if they could not 
endure to look on the glorified face of Moses, but there 
was need of a veil, how could soiled and earthly creatures, 
like ourselves, have borne the sight of undisguised Divinity, 
which is not vouchsafed even to the higher powers themselves. 
AUG. Or thus; in that the Word was made flesh and dwelt Aug. in 
among us, His birth became a kind of ointment to anoint the x^u 
eyes of our heart, that we might through His humanity discern c - 16 - 
His majesty; and therefore it follows, And we saw His glory. 
No one could see His glory, who was not healed by the 
humility of the flesh. For there had flown upon man's eye 
as it were dust from the earth : the eye had been diseased, 
and earth was sent to heal it again ; the flesh had blinded 
thee, the flesh restores thee. The soul by consenting to 
carnal affections had become carnal; hence the eye of the mind 
had been blinded : then the physician made for thee oint 
ment. He came in such wise, as that by the flesh He 
destroyed the corruption of the flesh. And thus the Word 
was made flesh, that thou mightest be able to say, We saw 
His glory. CHRYS. He subjoins, As of the Only-Begotten Chrys. 
of the Father: for many prophets, as Moses, Elijah, and others, i n j^' an . 
workers of miracles, had been glorified, and Angels also who xii -[ xi -J 
appeared unto men, shining with the brightness belong 
ing to their nature; Cherubim and Seraphim too, who were 
seen in glorious array by the prophets. But the Evangelist 
withdrawing our minds from these, and raising them above 
all nature, and every preeminence of fellow servants, leads us 
up to the summit Himself; as if he said, Not of prophet, or of 
any other man, or of Angel, or Archangel, or any of the 
higher powers, is the glory which we beheld ; but as that of 
the very Lord, very King, very and true Only-Begotten Son. 
GREG. In Scripture language as, and as it were, are some- Greg. 
times put not for likeness but reality ; whence the expression, ^oral. 
As of the Only-Begotten of the Father. CHRYS. As if he c - 6 '( 12 -) 
said : We saw His glory, such as it was becoming and proper Horn. 
for the Only-Begotten and true Son to have. We have a*"'l xlg J 



form of speech, like it, derived from our seeing kings always 
splendidly robed. When the dignity of a man's carriage is 
beyond description, we say, In short, he went as a king. 
So too John says, We saw His glory, the glory as of the Only 
Begotten of the Father. For Angels, when they appeared, 
did every thing as servants who had a Lord, but He as 
the Lord appearing in humble form. Yet did all creatures 
recognise their Lord, the star calling the Magi, the Angels 
the shepherds, the child leaping in the womb acknowledged 
Him : yea the Father bore witness to Him from heaven, and 
the Paraclete descending upon Him : and the very universe 
itself shouted louder than any trumpet, that the King of 
heaven had come. For devils fled, diseases were healed, the 
graves gave up the dead, and souls were brought out of 
wickedness, to the utmost height of virtue. What shall 
one say of the wisdom of precepts, of the virtue of heavenly 
laws, of the excellent institution of the angelical life ? 

Origen. ORIGEN ; Full of grace and truth. Of this the meaning is two- 
' fold. For it may be understood of the Humanity, and the 
Divinity of the Incarnate Word, so that the fulness of grace 
has reference to the Humanity, according to which Christ is 
the Head of the Church, and the first-born of every creature: 
for the greatest and original example of grace, by which 
man, with no preceding merits, is made God, is manifested 
primarily in Him. The fulness of the grace of Christ may 
also be understood of the Holy Spirit, whose sevenfold 

Is. 11,2. operation filled Christ's Humanity. The fulness of truth 
applies to the Divinity But if you had rather under 
stand the fulness of grace and truth of the New Testament, 
you may with propriety pronounce the fulness of the grace of 
the New Testament to be given by Christ, and the truth of 

Theoph. the legal types to have been fulfilled in Him. THEOPHYL. 
C " Or, full of grace, inasmuch as His word was gracious, as saith 

Ps.45,3. David, Full of grace are thy lips; and truth, because what 
Moses and the Prophets spoke or did in figure, Christ did in 

15. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, 
This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after 
me is preferred before me, for he was before me. 

VER. 15. ST. JOHN. 37 

ALCUIN ; He had said before that there was a man sent to 
bear witness ; now he gives definitely the forerunner's own 
testimony, which plainly declared the excellence of His 
Human Nature and the Eternity of His Godhead. John 
bare witness of Him. CHRYS. Or he introduces this, asChrys. 
if to say, Do not suppose that we bear witness to this out^ ^'^ 
of gratitude, because we were with Him a long time, andxiii. 
partook of His table; for John who had never seen Him before, 2*3. ' 
nor tarried with Him, bare witness to Him. The Evangelist 
repeats John's testimony many times here and there, because 
he was held in such admiration by the Jews. Other Evan 
gelists refer to the old prophets, and say, This was done that 
it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet. But 
he introduces a loftier, and later witness, not intending to 
make the servant vouch for the master, but only condescending 
to the weakness of his hearers. For as Christ would not have 
been so readily received, had He not taken upon Him the 
form of a servant ; so if he had not excited the attention of 
servants by the voice of a fellow-servant beforehand, there 
would not have been many Jews embracing the word of Christ. 
It follows, And cried; that is, preached with openness, with 
freedom, without reservation. He did not however begin 
with asserting that this one was the natural only-begotten 
Son of God, but cried, saying, This was He of whom I spake, 
He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for He was 
before me. For as birds do not teach their young all at 
once to fly, but first draw them outside the nest, and after 
wards try them with a quicker motion; so John did not 
immediately lead the Jews to high things, but began with 
lesser flights, saying, that Christ was better than he ; which 
in the mean time was no little advance. And observe how 
prudently he introduces his testimony ; he not only points to 
Christ when He appears, but preaches Him beforehand; as, 
This is He of whom I spake. This would prepare men's 
minds for Christ's coming : so that when He did come, the 
humility of His garb would be no impediment to His being 
received. For Christ adopted so humble and common an 
appearance, that if men had seen Him without first hearing 
John's testimony to His greatness, none of the things spoken 
of Him would have had any effect. THEOPHYL. He saith, 


Who cometh after me, that is, as to the time of His birth. John 

was six months before Christ, according to His humanity. 

Chrys. CnRYS. Or this does not refer to the birth from Mary; for 

^j m ' Christ was born, when this was said by John; but to His 

Oii/1 3. com i n g for the work of preaching. He then saith, is made* 

before me; that is, is more illustrious, more honourable ; as if 

he said, Do not suppose me greater than He, because I came 

Theoph. first to preach. THEOPHYL. The Arians infer from this word 1 , 

i n yiyi tnat the Son of God is not begotten of the Father, but made 

Aug. like any other creature. AUG. It does not mean He was 

j^ r J an ' made before I was made ; but He is preferred to me. CHRYS. 

Chrys. If the words, made before me, referred to His coming into 

xiii. ' being, it was superfluous to add, For He was before me. For 

[xii.] 3. w jj O WO uld be so foolish as not to know, that if He was made 

before him, He was before him. It would have been more 

correct to say, He was before me, because He was made before 

me. The expression then, He was made before me, must be 

taken in the sense of honour : only that which was to take 

place, he speaks of as having taken place already, after the 

style of the old Prophets, who commonly talk of the future as 

the past. 

16. And of his fulness have all we received, and 
grace for grace. 

17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and 
truth came by Jesus Christ. 

prig. ORIGEN; This is to be considered a continuation of the 
t?vi.3. n Baptist's testimony to Christ, a point which has escaped the 
\. is. attention of many, who think that from this to, He hath 
declared Him, St. John the Apostle is speaking. But the 
idea that on a sudden, and, as it would seem, unseasonably, 
the discourse of the Baptist should be interrupted by a 
speech of the disciple's, is inadmissible. And any one, able 
to follow the passage, will discern a very obvious connexion 
here. For having said, He is preferred before me, for He 
was before me, he proceeds, From this I know that He is 
before me, because I and the Prophets who preceded me 

>iy.w. Vulg./ocfcw. Eng. T. preferred. 

VER. 16, 17. ST. JOHN. 39 

have received of His fulness, and grace for grace, (the second 
grace for the first.) For they too by the Spirit penetrated 
beyond the figure to the contemplation of the truth. And 
hence receiving, as we have done, of his fulness, we judge 
that the law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth 
were made 1 , by Jesus Christ made, not given: the Father <iyiir : 
gave the law by Moses, but made grace and truth by Jesus, y^ 
But if it is Jesus who says below, / am the Truth, how is E - T - 
truth made by Jesus? We must understand however thatj hni4 
the very substantial Truth 2 , from which First Truth and Its!?' , 

J a aura 

Image many truths are engraven on those who treat of the xijf* 
truth, was not made through Jesus Christ, or through any 
one; but only the truth which is in individuals, such as in 
Paul, e. g. or the other Apostles, was made through Jesus 
Christ. CHRYS. Or thus; John the Evangelist here addschrys. 
his testimony to that of John the Baptist, saying, And^^' 
of his fulness have we all received. These are not the*iy. 
words of the forerunner, but of the disciple ; as if he meant 
to say, We also the twelve, and the whole body of the 
faithful, both present and to come, have received of His 
fulness. AUG. But what have ye received ? Grace for grace. Aug. 
So that we are to understand that we have received a certain j r ?^ n ' 
something from His fulness, and over and above this, grace for c. 8. 
grace; that we have first received of His fulness, first grace; 6 
and again, we have received grace for grace. What grace 
did we first receive? Faith: which is called grace, because 
it is given freely 3 . This is the first grace then which the 3 gratis 
sinner receives, the remission of his sins. Again, we have 
grace for grace ; i. e. in stead of that grace in which we live 
by faith, we are to receive another, viz. life eternal: for life 
eternal is as it were the wages of faith. And thus as faith 
itself is a good grace, so life eternal is grace for grace. There 
was not grace in the Old Testament; for the law threatened, 
but assisted not, commanded, but healed not, shewed our weak 
ness, but relieved it not. It prepared the way however for 
a Physician who was about to come, with the gifts of grace 
and truth : whence the sentence which follows : For the law 
was given by Moses, but grace and truth were made by Jesus 
Christ. The death of thy Lord hath destroyed death, both 
temporal and eternal ; that is the grace which was promised, 


Chrys. but not contained, in the law. CHRYS. Or we have received 
xiv. grace for grace; that is, the new in the place of the old. 

[xiii.] p or as there is a justice and a justice besides, an adoption 
sparsim. . ... , , . 

and another adoption, a circumcision and another circum 
cision; so is there a grace and another grace: only the one 
being a type, the other a reality. He brings in the words to 
shew that the Jews as well as ourselves are saved by grace : 
it being of mercy and grace that they received the law. 
Next, after he has said, Grace for grace, he adds something 
to shew the magnitude of the gift; For the law was given 
by Moses, but grace and truth were made by Jesus 
Christ. John when comparing himself with Christ above 
had said, He is preferred before me: but the Evangelist 
draws a comparison between Christ, and one much more 
in admiration with the Jews than John, viz. Moses. And 
observe his wisdom. He does not draw the comparison 
between the persons, but the things, contrasting grace and 
truth to the law: the latter of which he says was given, 
a word only applying to an administrator; the former made, 
as we should speak of a king, who does eveiy thing by 
his power: though in this King it would be with grace also, 
because that with power He remitted all sins. Now His 
grace is shewn in His gift of Baptism, and our adoption by 
the Holy Spirit, and many other things ; but to have a better 
insight into what the truth is, we should study the figures 
of the old law: for what was to be accomplished in the New 
Testament, is prefigured in the Old, Christ at His Coming 
filling up the figure. Thus was the figure given by Moses, 

^ u ^,-. but the truth made by Christ. AUG. Or, we may refer 
de Inn. ' * 

xiii. c . grace to knowledge, truth to wisdom. Amongst the events 
24.(xix.) Q f t j me t h e high es t grace is the uniting of man to God in 

One Person; in the eternal world the highest truth pertains 

to God the Word. 

18. No man hath seen God at any time ; the only 
begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he 
hath declared him. 

prig. ORIGEN; Heracleon asserts, that this is a declaration of 
. the disci P le > not of tne Baptist: an unreasonable supposition; 

VEK. 18. ST. JOHN. 41 

for if the words, Of His fulness have ice all received, are the 
Baptist's, does not the connexion run naturally, that he 
receiving of the grace of Christ, the second in the place of 
the first grace, and confessing that the law was given by Moses, 
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ; understood here 
that no man had seen God at any time, and that the Only 
Begotten, who was in the bosom of the Father, had committed 
this declaration of Himself to John, and all who with him 
had received of His fulness? For John was not the first 
who declared Him ; for He Himself who was before Abraham, 
tells us, that Abraham rejoiced to see His glory. CHRYS. Or Chrys. 
thus; the Evangelist after shewing the great superiority of^ ^ an * 
Christ's gifts, compared with those dispensed by Moses, x iy. 
wishes in the next place to supply an adequate reason for L X111> J 
the difference. The one being a servant was made a minister 
of a lesser dispensation : but the other Who was Lord, and Son 
of the King, brought us far higher things, being ever coexistent 
with the Father, and beholding Him. Then follows, No man 
hath seen God at any time, tyc. AUG. What is that then Aug. 
which Jacob said, / have seen God face to face; and that p^uihia 

which is written of Moses, he talked with God face to face; (Ep. 
and that which the prophet Isaiah saith of himself, / saw the [112.] 
Lord sitting upon a throne? GREG. It is plainly given us to c - 5> ) 
understand here, that while we are in this mortal state, we Ex. 33. 
can see God only through the medium of certain images, not If a> 6- 
in the reality of His own nature. A soul influenced by the grace xviii. 
of the Spirit may see God through certain figures, but cannot c . 5' 
penetrate into his absolute essence. And hence it is that Jacob, ( 88 

rec. 28. 

who testifies that he saw God, saw nothing but an Angel: and 
that Moses, who talked with God face to face, says, Shew me Exod. 

> > | -> 

Thy way, that I may know Tliee : meaning that he ardently 
desired to see in the brightness of His own infinite Nature, Him 
Whom he had only as yet seen reflected in images. CHRYS. Chrys. 
If the old fathers had seen That very Nature, they would 
not have contemplated It so variously, for It is in Itself simple 
and without shape; It sits not, It walks not; these are the 
qualities of bodies. Whence he saith through the Prophet, 
/ have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by 
ministry of the Prophets: i. e. I have condescended to them, 
I appeared that which I was not. For inasmuch as the Son 


of God was about to manifest Himself to us in actual flesh, 
men were at first raised to the sight of God, in such ways as 
Aug. allowed of their seeing Him. AUG. Now it is said, Blessed are 
Paulina ^e P ure heart, for they shall see God; and again, Wlien 
sparsim. ff e shall appear, we shall be like unto Him, for we shall see 
8. ' Him as He is. What is the meaning then of the words here : 

1 John jy man h a th seen God at any time ? The reply is easy : those 

passages speak of God, as to be seen, not as already seen. 

Tliey shall see God, it is said, not, they have seen Him: 

nor is it, we have seen Him, but, we shall see Him as 

He is. For, No man hath seen God at any time, neither in 

this life, nor yet in the Angelic, as He is ; in the same way 

in which sensible things are perceived by the bodily vision. 

Greg. GREG. If however any, while inhabiting this corruptible flesh, 

Moral. can advance to such an immeasurable height of virtue, as to 

be able to discern by the contemplative vision, the eternal 

brightness of God, their case affects not what we say. For 

whoever seeth wisdom, that is, God, is dead wholly to this 

Aug.xii. life, being no longer occupied by the love of it. AUG. For 

d Ht Q uin<ess an y m some sense die to this life, either by leaving the 

ram c. body altogether, or by being so withdrawn and alienated from 


carnal perceptions, that he may well not know, as the Apostle 

2 Cor. says, whether he be in the body or out of the body, he 
Greg! cannot be carried away, and borne aloft to that vision. GREG. 
xviii. Some hold that in the place of bliss, God is visible in His 


c. 54. 90. brightn ess, but not in His nature. This is to indulge in over 
muc ^ subtlety. For in that simple and unchangeable essence, 
no division can be made between the nature and the bright- 
Aug. ness. AUG. If we say, that the text, No one* hath seen God 
c?iv. au at an y ti me > applies only to men; so that, as the Apostle 
i Tim. more plainly interprets it, Whom no man hath seen nor can 
see, no one is to be understood here to mean, no one of men : 
the question may be solved in a way not to contradict what 
Mat. 18, our Lord says, Their Angels do always behold the face of My 
Greg. Father ; so that we must believe that Angels see, what no 

one, i. e. of men, hath ever seen. GREG. Some however 

Moral. . 

c. 54. there are who conceive that not even the Angels see God. 
SiS.' CHRYSt That ver y exi stence which is God, neither Pro- 

Chrys. * 


xv. d tiUdi ' Vulg. nemo : E. T. no man. 

. 18. ST. JOHN. 43 

phets, nor even Angels, nor yet Archangels, have seen. 
For enquire of the Angels; they say nothing concerning His 
Substance ; but sing, Glory to God in the highest, and Peace Luke 2, 
on earth to men of goodwill. Nay, ask even Cherubim and 
Seraphim ; thou wilt hear only in reply the mystic melody of 
devotion, and that heaven and earth are full of His glory. Is. 6, 3. 
AUG. Which indeed is true so far, that no bodily or even Aug. to 
mental vision of man hath ever embraced the fulness o f pa ^ lina 

C t 

God ; for it is one thing to see, another to embrace the whole 
of what thou seest. A thing is seen, if only the sight of it be 
caught; but we only see a thing fully, when we have no 
part of it unseen, when we see round its extreme limits. 
CHRYS. In this complete sense only the Son and the Holy Chrys. 
Ghost see the Father. For how can created nature see 

which is uncreated ? So then no man knoweth the Father as *v. 
the Son knoweth Him: and hence what follows, The Only- 
Begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath 
declared Him. That we might not be led by the identity of 
the name, to confound Him with the sons made so by grace, 
the article is annexed in the first place ; and then, to put 
an end to all doubt, the name Only-Begotten is intro 
duced. HILARY ; The Truth of His Nature did not seem Hii. de 
sufficiently explained by the name of Son, unless, in ad- vi ^ 
dition, its peculiar force as proper to Him were expressed, 
so signifying its distinctness from all beside. For in that, 
besides Son, he calleth Him also the Only- Begotten, he cut 
off altogether all suspicion of adoption, the Nature of the 
Only- Begotten guaranteeing the truth of the name. CHRYS. Chrys. 
He adds, Which is in the bosom of the Father. To dwell ^ onu 
in the bosom is much more than simply to see. For he who [xiv.] 2. 
sees simply, hath not the knowledge thoroughly of that which 
he sees ; but he who dwells in the bosom, knoweth every 
thing. When you hear then that no one knoweth the 
Father save the Son, do not by any means suppose that he 
only knows the Father more than any other, and does not 
know Him fully. For the Evangelist sets forth His residing 
in the bosom of the Father on this very account : viz. to 
shew us the intimate converse of the Only-Begotten, and His A 
coetemity with the Father. AUG. In the bosom of the Father, in Joan. 

i. e. in the secret Presence 1 of the Father: for God hath not c . if. 

1 secreto 


the fold 6 on the bosom, as we have ; nor must be imagined 
to sit, as we do ; nor is He bound with a girdle, so as to have 
a fold : but from the fact of our bosom being placed inner 
most, the secret Presence of the Father is called the bosom 
of the Father. He then who, in the secret Presence of the 
Father, knew the Father, the same hath declared what He saw. 
Chrys. OBEYS. But what hath He declared ? That God is one. But 


xv . this the rest of the Prophets and Moses proclaim : what else 

[xiv.] 3. have we learnt from the Son Who was in the bosom of the 

Father ? In the first place, that those very truths, which the 

others declared, were declared through the operation of the 

Only Begotten : in the next place, we have received a far 

greater doctrine from the Only Begotten ; viz. that God is a 

Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in 

spirit and in truth ; and that God is the Father of the Only 

Bede Begotten. BEDE; Farther, if the word declared have reference 

oc * to the past, it must be considered that He, being made man, 

declared the doctrine of the Trinity in unity, and how, and by 

what acts we should prepare ourselves for the contemplation 

of it. If it have reference to the future, then it means that 

He will declare Him, when He shall introduce His elect to 

Aug. the vision of His brightness. AUG. Yet have there been men, 

c . r is"' who, deceived by the vanity of their hearts, maintained that 

the Father is invisible, the Son visible. Now if they call the 

Son visible, with respect to His connexion with the flesh, we 

object not ; it is the Catholic doctrine. But it is madness in 

them to say He was so before His incarnation ; i. e. if it be 

true that Christ is the Wisdom of God, and the Power of 

God. The Wisdom of God cannot be seen by the eye. If 

the human word cannot be seen by the eye, how can the 

Chrys. Word of God ? CHRYS. The text then, No man hath seen 

xv i. ' God at any time, applies not to the Father only, but also to 

[xv.] i. the g on . f or jj e> as p au i S aith, i s tne i ma ge of the invisible 

God ; but He who is the Image of the Invisible, must Himself 

also be invisible. 

19. And this is the record of John, when the Jews 
sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 
Who art thou ? 

e *A<r, sinus, bosom, mean often, fold of the garment on the bosom. 

VER. 19 23. ST. JOHN. 45 

20. And he confessed, and denied not; but con 
fessed, I am not the Christ. 

21. And they asked him, What then? Art thou 
Elias ? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that pro 
phet? And he answered, No. 

22. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that 
we may give an answer to them that sent us. What 
sayest thou of thyself? 

23. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the 
wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said 
the prophet Esaias. 

ORIGEN ; This is the second testimony of John the Baptist to prig. 
Christ, the first began with, This is He of Whom I spake ; and iom.H?' 
ended with, He hath declared Him. THEOPHYL. Or, after the c - 29 - 
introduction above of John's testimony to Christ, is preferred i n loc. 
before me, the Evangelist now adds when the above testi 
mony was given, And this is the record of John, when the 
Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem. ORIGEN ; Orig. 
The Jews of Jerusalem, as being of kin to the Baptist, who c " \\ 
was of the priestly stock, send Priests and Levites to ask him 
who he is ; that is, men considered to hold a superior rank c. 6. 
to the rest of their order, by God's election, and coming from 
that favoured above all cities, Jerusalem. Such is the reveren 
tial way in which they interrogate John. We read of no such 
proceeding towards Christ: but what the Jews did to John, 
John in turn does to Christ, when he asks Him, through His 
disciples, Art thou He that should come, or look we for Luke 7, 
another? CHHYS. Such confidence had they in John, thatchrys. 
they were ready to believe him on his own words: witness 12. Joan * 
how it is said, To ask him, Who art thou? AUG. Theyxvi. 
would not have sent, unless they had been impressed by his ^T^Tr 
lofty exercise of authority, in daring to baptize. ORIGEN ; 4. c. 3. 
John, as it appears, saw from the question, that the Priests j n n /oh. 
and Levites had doubts whether it might not be the Christ, tom - V1 ' 
who was baptizing ; which doubts however they were afraid 
to profess openly, for fear of incurring the charge of credulity. 
He wisely determines therefore first to correct their mistake, 
and then to proclaim the truth. Accordingly, he first of all 


shews that he is not the Christ: And he confessed, and 
denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ, We may 
add here, that at this time the people had already begun to be 
impressed with the idea that Christ's advent was at hand, 
in consequence of the interpretations which the lawyers had 
collected out of the sacred writings to that effect. Thus 
Theudas had been enabled to collect together a considerable 
body, on the strength of his pretending to be the Christ; 
and after him Judas, in the days of the taxation, had done 
Acts 6. the same. Such being the strong expectation of Christ's 
advent then prevalent, the Jews send to John, intending by 
the question, Who art thou ? to extract from him whether 
Gre g- he were the Christ. GREG. He denied directly being what 
vii. in he was not, but he did not deny what he was : thus, by his 
Evang. S p ea kmg truth, becoming a true member of Him Whose 
Chrys. name he had not dishonestly usurped. CHRYS. Or take this 
xv ' explanation : The Jews were influenced by a kind of human 
[xv.] 1, sympathy for John, whom they were reluctant to see made 
subordinate to Christ, on account of the many marks of 
greatness about him ; his illustrious descent in the first place, 
he being the son of a chief priest ; in the next, his hard 
training, and his contempt of the world. Whereas in Christ 
the contrary were apparent ; a humble birth, for which they 
Mat. 13, reproach Him ; Is not this the carpenter's son ? an ordinary 
way of living ; a dress such as every one else wore. As John 
then was constantly sending to Christ, they send to him, with 
the view of having him for their master, and thinking to 
induce him, by blandishments, to confess himself Christ. 
They do not therefore send inferior persons to him, ministers 
and Herodians, as they did to Christ, but Priests and Levites ; 
and not of these an indiscriminate party, but those of Jeru 
salem, i. e. the more honourable ones ; but they send them 
with this question, to ask, Who art thou ? not from a wish 
to be informed, but in order to induce him to do what I have 
said. John replies then to their intention, not to their interro 
gation: And he confessed, and denied not ; but confessed, I am 
not the Christ. And observe the wisdom of the Evangelist: 
he repeats the same thing three times, to shew John's virtue, and 
the malice and madness of the Jews. For it is the character 
of a devoted servant, not only to forbear taking to himself 

VER. 19 23. ST. JOHN. 47 

his lord's glory, but even, when numbers offer it to him, to 
reject it. The multitude indeed believed from ignorance 
that John was the Christ, but in these it was malice ; and in 
this spirit they put the question to him, thinking, by their 
blandishments to bring him over to their wishes. For unless 
this had been their design, when he replied, / am not the 
Christ, they would have said, We did not suspect this ; we 
did not come to ask this. When caught, however, and dis 
covered in their purpose, they proceed to another question : 
And they asked him, What then ? Art Ihou Elias ? AUG. Aug. 
For they knew that Elias was to preach Christ ; the name of ! 
Christ not being unknown to any among the Jews; but they c. 4. 
did not think that He our Lord was the Christ : and yet did 
not altogether imagine that there was no Christ about to come. 
In this way, while looking forward to the future, they mistook 
at the present. 

And he said, I am not. GREG. These words gave rise to Greg. 
a very different question. In another place, our Lord, when ^?' j 
asked by His disciples concerning the coming of Elias, 
replied, If ye will receive it, this is Elias. But John says, Mat.ll, 
/ am not Elias. How is he then a preacher of the truth, if 14 ' 
he agrees not with what that very Truth declares ? ORIGEN ; Grig. 
Some one will say that John was ignorant that he was Elias ; 
as those say, who maintain, from this passage the doctrine c. 1> 
of a second incorporation, as though the soul took up a new 
body, after leaving its old one. For the Jews, it is said, 
asking John by the Levites and priests, whether he is Elias, 
suppose the doctrine of a second body to be already certain ; 
as though it rested upon tradition, and were part of their 
secret system. To which question, however, John replies, 
/ am not Elias: not being acquainted with his own prior 
existence. But how is it reasonable to imagine, if John 
were a prophet enlightened by the Spirit, and had revealed 
so much concerning the Father, and the Only-Begotten, that 
he could be so in the dark as to himself, as not to know 
that his own soul had once belonged to Elias? GREG. But Greg, 
if we examine the truth accurately, that which sounds incon- ^^ 
sistent, will be found not really so. The Angel told Zacha- Evang. 
rias concerning John, He shall go before Him in the spirit Luke 1, 
and power of Elias. As Elias then will preach the second ^ 


advent of our Lord, so John preached His first ; as the former 
will come as the precursor of the Judge, so the latter was 
made the precursor of the Redeemer. John was Elias in 
spirit, not in person : and what our Lord affirms of the spirit, 
John denies of the Person : there being a kind of propriety in 
this ; viz. that our Lord to His disciples should speak spiritually 
of John, and that John, in answering the carnal multitude, 
Orig. should speak of his body, not of his spirit. ORIGEN ; He 'answers then the Levites and Priests,/ am not, conjecturing 
c - ? what their question meant : for the purport of their examina 
tion was to discover, not whether the spirit in both was the 
same, but whether John was that very Elias, who was taken 
up, now appearing again, as the Jews expected, without 
another birth 1 . But he whom we mentioned above as holding 
this doctrine of a reincorporation, will say that it is not con 
sistent that the Priests and Levites should be ignorant of the 
birth of the son of so dignified a priest as Zacharias, who was 
born too in his father's old age, and contrary to all human 
Luke 1, probabilities : especially when Luke declares, that fear came 
on all that dwelt round about them. But perhaps, since 
Elias was expected to appear before the coming of Christ 
near the end, they may seem to put the question figuratively, 
Art thou he who announcest the coming of Christ at 
the end of the world? to which he answers, / am not. 
But there is in fact nothing strange in supposing that John's 
birth might not have been known to all. For as in the 
case of our Saviour many knew Him to be born of Mary, 
and yet some wrongly imagined that He was John the 
Baptist, or Elias, or one of the Prophets ; so in the case of 
John, some were not unacquainted with the fact of his being 
son of Zacharias, and yet some may have been in doubt 
whether he were not the Elias who was expected. Again, 
inasmuch as many prophets had arisen in Israel, but one was 
especially looked forward to, of whom Moses had prophesied, 

^ he ^ or< ^ ^ ^^ w ^ ra * se U P unto tfiee a P ro P ne t from 
the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him 
shall ye hearken : they ask him in the third place, not 

1 Origen argues again against the re- Apol. pro Orig. c. 10. p. 45. 46. ed. de 
incorporation from this same passage, la Rue. 
in Matt. 1. vii. and xiii. $. 1. see Pamph. 

VER. 19 - 23. ST. JOHN. 49 

simply whether he is a prophet, but with the article prefixed, 
Art thou that Prophet ? For every one of the prophets 
in succession had signified to the people of Israel that he 
was not the one whom Moses had prophesied of; who, like 
Moses, was to stand in the midst between God and man, and 
deliver a testament, sent from God to His disciples. They 
did not however apply this name to Christ, but thought 
that He was to be a different person ; whereas John 
knew that Christ was that Prophet, and therefore to this 
question, he answered, No. AUG. Or because John was more A 11 ?- 
than a prophet : for that the prophets announced Him afar Tr. iv. ' 
off, but John pointed Him out actually present. c> 8> 

Ttien said they unto him, WJio art thou ? that we may 
give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of 
thyself? CHRYS. You see them here pressing him still moreChrys. 
strongly with their questions, while he on the other hand xv ' 
quietly puts down their suspicions, where they are untrue, C xv -l 2 - 
and establishes the truth in their place : saying, / am the 

voice of one crying in the wilderness. AUG. So spoke Esaias : 
the prophecy was fulfilled in John the Baptist. GREG. Ye Greg. 

know that the only-begotten Son is called the Word of the ' 2 
Father. Now we know, in the case of our own utterance, 
the voice first sounds, and then the word is heard. Thus 
John declares himself to be the voice, i. e. because he 
precedes the Word, and, through his ministry, the Word of the 
Father is heard by man. ORIGEN ; Heracleon, in his discussion Orig. 
on John and the Prophets, infers that because the Saviour tom. ^!' 
was the Word, and John the voice, therefore the whole of the c> 12> 
prophetic order was only sound. To which we reply, that, 
if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare 
himself for the battle ? If the voice of prophecy is nothing 
but sound, why does the Saviour send us to it, saying, Search Jhn 5, 
the Scriptures ? But John calls himself the voice, not that 
crieth, but of one that crieth in the wilderness ; viz. of Him 
Who stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him come unto John 7, 
Me and drink. He cries, in order that those at a distance 
may hear him, and understand from the loudness of the 
sound, the vastness of the thing spoken of. THEOPHYL. Or in loc< 
because he declared the truth plainly, while all who were Greg. 
under the law spoke obscurely. GREG. John crieth in the vii ^ 

E Ev.c.2. 


wilderness, because it is to forsaken and destitute Judaea 
that he bears the consolatory tidings of a Redeemer. 
Orig. ORIGEN ; There is need of the voice crying in the wilderness, 
e. 10.11. that the soul, forsaken by God, may be recalled to making 
straight the way of the Lord, following no more the crooked 
paths of the serpent. This has reference both to the con 
templative life, as enlightened by truth, without mixture of 
falsehood, and to the practical, as following up the correct 
perception by the suitable action. Wherefore he adds, 
Make straight the way of the Lord, as saith the prophet 
Greg. Esaias. GREG. The way of the Lord is made straight to the 
viiTn heart, when the word of truth is heard with humility; the 
Evang. wa y O f the Lord is made straight to the heart, when the life 
is formed upon the precept. 

24. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. 

25. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why 
baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor 
Elias, neither that prophet ? 

26. John answered them, saying, I baptize with 
water : but there standeth one among you, whom ye 
know not ; 

27. He it is, who coming after me is preferred before 
me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 

28. These things were done in Bethabara beyond 
Jordan, where John was baptizing. 

Orig. ORIGEN ; The questions of the priests and Levites being 
1 answered, another mission comes from the Pharisees: And 
they that were sent were of the Pharisees. So far as it is 
allowable to form a conjecture from the discourse itself here, 
I should say that it was the third occasion of John's giving 
his witness. Observe the mildness of the former question, so 
befitting the priestly and levitical character, Who art thou ? 
There is nothing arrogant or disrespectful, but only what 
becomes true ministers of God. The Pharisees however, 
being a sectarian body, as their name implies, address the 
Baptist in an importunate and contumelious way. And they 
said, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, 

VER. 24 28. ST. JOHN. 51 

neither Elias, neither that Prophet ? not caring about in 
formation, but only wishing to prevent him baptizing. Yet 
the very next thing they did, was to come to John's baptism. 
The solution of this is, that they came not in faith, but 
hypocritically, because they feared the people. CHRYS. Or, Chrys. 
those very same priests and Levites were of the Pharisees, ^ m / j 
and, because they could not undermine him by blandishments, xv.) 2. 
began accusing, after they had compelled him to say what 
he was not. And they asked him, saying, Why baptizest 
thou then, if thou art not the Christ, neither Elias, neither 
that Prophet ? As if it were an act of audacity in him to 
baptize, when he was neither the Christ, nor His precursor, 
nor His proclaimer, i. e. that Prophet. GREG. A saint, even Greg. 
when perversely questioned, is never diverted from the pur- I ?. on ! 1 ' 
suit of goodness. Thus John to the words of envy opposes Evang. 
the words of life: John answered them, saying, I indeed ' 
baptize with water. ORIGEN ; For how would the question, Orig. 
Why then baptizest thou, be replied to in any other way, than J n Joa ?- 
by setting forth the carnal nature of his own baptism ? c. 15. 
GREG. John baptizeth not with the Spirit, but with water; Greg. 

not being able to remit sins, he washes the bodies of the ^P"}- 
vn. m 

baptized with water, but not their souls with pardon. Why Evang. 
then doth he baptize, when he doth not remit sins by ' ' 
baptism ? To maintain his character of forerunner. As his 
birth preceded our Lord's, so doth his baptism precede our 
Lord's baptism. And he who was the forerunner of Christ 
in His preaching, is forerunner also in His baptism, which 
was the imitation of that Sacrament. And withal he 
announces the mystery of our redemption, saying that He, 
the Redeemer, is standing in the midst of men, and they know- 
it not : There standelh one among you, whom ye know not : 
for our Lord, when He appeared in the flesh, was visible in 
body, but in majesty invisible. CHRYS. One among you. Chrys. 
It was fitting that Christ should mix with the people, and be xvi< 3 * 
one of the many, shewing every where His humility. Whom 
ye know not ; i. e. not, in the most absolute and certain 
sense; not, who He is, and whence He is. AUG. In His Aug. 
low estate He was not seen ; and therefore the candle was c . r 9. 1V ' 
lighted. THEOPHYL. Or it was, that our Lord was in theinloc. 
midst of the Pharisees; and they not knowing Him. For 

E 2 


they thought that they knew the Scriptures, and therefore, 
inasmuch as our Lord was pointed out there, He was in the 
midst of them, i. e. in their hearts. But they knew Him not, 
inasmuch as they understood not the Scriptures. Or take 
another interpretation. He was in the midst of them, as 
mediator between God and man, wishing to bring them, 
Orig. the Pharisees, to God. But they knew Him not. ORIGEN ;!'O r thus; Having said, / indeed baptize with water, in 
c - 15- answer to the question, Why baptize st thou then? to the 
next, If thou be not Christ? he replies by declaring the 
preexistent substance of Christ ; that it was of such virtue, 
that though His Godhead was invisible, He was present to 
every one, and pervaded the whole world; as is conveyed in 
the words ; There standeth one among you. For He it is, 
Who hath diffused Himself through the whole system of 
nature, insomuch that every thing which is created, is created 
by Him; All things were made by Him. Whence it is 
evident that even those who enquired of John, Why baptizest 
thou then? had Him among them. Or, the words, There 
standeth one among you, are to be understood of mankind 
generally. For, from our character as rational beings, it 
follows that the word * exists in the centre of us, because the 
heart, which is the spring of motion within us, is situated in 
the centre of the body. Those then who carry the word 
within them, but are ignorant of its nature, and the source 
and beginning and the way in which it resides in them ; 
these, hearing the word within them, know it not. But John 
recognised Him, and reproached the Pharisees, saying, 
Whom ye know not. For, though expecting Christ's coming, 
the Pharisees had formed no lofty conception of Him, but 
supposed that He would only be a holy man : wherefore 
he briefly refutes their ignorance, and the false ideas that 
they had of His excellence. He saith, standeth ; for as the 
Father standeth, i. e. exists without variation or change, so 
standeth the Word ever in the work of salvation, though It 
assume flesh, though It be in the midst of men, though 
It stand invisible. Lest any one however should think 
that the invisible One Who cometh to all men, and to 

1 i. e. the Xoyef i uileuxoH. reason; the word which is the image of the 

VEB. 24 28. ST. JOHN. 53 

the universal world, is different from Him Who was made 
man, and appeared on the earth, he adds, He that cometh 
after me', i. e. Who will appear after me. The after however 
here has not the same meaning that it has, when Christ 
calls us after Him; for there we are told to follow after 
Him, that by treading in His steps, we may attain to the 
Father; but here the word is used to intimate what should 
follow upon John's teaching; for he came that all may 
believe, having by his ministry been fitted gradually by 
lesser things, for the reception of the perfect Word. There 
fore he saith, He it is Who cometh after me. CHRYS. AsChrys. 
if he said, Do not think that every thing is contained in my xv " m (' a i. 
baptism ; for if my baptism were perfect, another would not XV 3 - 
come after me with another baptism. This baptism of mine 
is but an introduction to the other, and will soon pass away, 
like a shadow, or an image. There is One coming after me 
to establish the truth: and therefore this is not a perfect 
baptism ; for, if it were, there would be no room for a 
second: and therefore he adds, Who is made before me: 
i. e. is more honourable, more lofty. GREG. Made before Greg. 
me, i. e. preferred before me. He comes after me, that is, ^^ 
He is born after me ; He is made before me, that is, He Ev. c. 3. 
is preferred to me. CHRYS. But lest thou shouldest think Chrys. 
this to be the result of comparison, he immediately shews it x ^ m / a i. 
to be a superiority beyond all comparison ; Whose shoe^s xv -) 3 
latchet I am not worthy to unloose : as if He said, He is so 
much before me, that I am unworthy to be numbered among 
the lowest of His attendants : the unloosing of the sandal 
being the very lowest kind of service. AUG. To have Aug. 
pronounced himself worthy even of unloosing His shoe's r * 1V ' 
latchet, he would have been thinking too much of himself. 
GREG. Or thus : It was a law of the old dispensation, that, Greg. 
if a man refused to take the woman, who of right came to v ii. in 
him, to wife, he who by right of relationship came next to v< c> 3 - 
be the husband, should unloose his shoe. Now in what 
character did Christ appear in the world, but as Spouse of 
the Holy Church ? John then very properly pronounced John 3, 
himself unworthy to unloose this shoe's latchet: as if he said, 
I cannot uncover the feet of the Redeemer, for I claim not the 
title of spouse, which I have no right to. Or the passage 


may be explained in another way. We know that shoes are 
made out of dead animals. Our Lord then, when He came 
in the flesh, put on, as it were, shoes; because in His 
Divinity He took the flesh of our corruption, wherein we had 
of ourselves perished. And the latchet of the shoe, is the 
seal upon the mystery. John is not able to unloose the shoe's 
latchet ; i. e. even he cannot penetrate into the mystery of 
the Incarnation. So he seems to say: What wonder that 
He is preferred before me, Whom, being born after me, I 
contemplate, yet the mystery of Whose birth I comprehend 

not. ORIG. The place has been understood not amiss thus 
torn. vi. . - . 

in Joan. by a certain person 1 ; 1 am not ot such importance, as that 

1 Hera " for my sake He should descend from this high abode, and 
Chrys. take flesh upon Him, as it were a shoe. CHRYS. John 
H P' having preached the thing concerning Christ publicly and 
xvi.) i. with becoming liberty, the Evangelist mentions the place 
m Joan. Q jj- g p reac hj n g . These tilings were done in Belli any 
beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. For it was in 
no house or corner that John preached Christ, but beyond 
Jordan, in the midst of a multitude, and in the presence of 
all whom He had baptized. Some copies read more cor 
rectly Bethabara : for Bethany was not beyond Jordan, or in 
the desert, but near Jerusalem. GLOSS; Or we must suppose 
two Bethanies ; one over Jordan, the other on this side, not 
far from Jerusalem, the Bethany where Lazarus was raised 
Chrys. from the dead. CHRYS. He mentions this too for another 
x\iL reason, viz. that as He was relating events which had only 
recently happened, He might, by a reference to the place, 
appeal to the testimony of those who were present and saw 
them. ALCUIN. The meaning of Bethany is, house of 
obedience; by which it is intimated to us, that all must 
Orig. approach to baptism, through the obedience of faith. ORIG. 
c^J 1 Bethabara means house of preparation ; which agreeth with 
the baptism of Him, who was making ready a people pre- 
c. 25. pared for the Lord. Jordan, again, means, " their descent." 
seq ' Now what is this river but our Saviour, through Whom 
coming into this earth all must be cleansed, in that He came 
down not for His own sake, but for theirs. This river it is 
which separateth the lots given by Moses, from those given 
c. 29. by Jesus ; its streams make glad the city of God. As the 

VER. 29 31. ST. JOHN. 55 

serpent lies hid in the Egyptian river, so doth God in this; 
for the Father is in the Son. Wherefore whosoever go thither 
to wash themselves, lay aside the reproach of Egypt, are Joshua 
made meet to receive the inheritance, are cleansed from ' ' 
leprosy, are made capable of a double portion of grace, and 2 Kin g s 
ready to receive the Holy Spirit; nor doth the spiritual dove2 J Kings 
light upon any other river. John again baptizes beyond'*" 1 ^' 
Jordan, as the precursor of Him Who came not to call the 
righteous, but sinners to repentance. 

29. The next day John seeth Jesus coming to him, 
and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away 
the sin of the world. 

30. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh 
a man which is preferred before me : for he was before 

31. And I knew him not: but that he should be 
made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing 
with water. 

ORIGEN; After this testimony, Jesus is seen coming toOrig. 
John, not only persevering in his confession, but also advanced ^.30. 
in goodness: as is intimated by the second day. Wherefore 
it is said, The next day John seeth Jesus coming to him. 
Long before this, the Mother of Jesus, as soon as she had 
conceived Him, went to see the mother of John then preg 
nant; and as soon as the sound of Mary's salutation reached 
the ears of Elisabeth, John leaped in the womb : but now 
the Baptist himself after his testimony seeth Jesus coming. 
Men are first prepared by hearing from others, and then see 
with their own eyes. The example of Mary going to see 
Elisabeth her inferior, and the Son of God going to see the 
Baptist, should teach us modesty and fervent charity to our 
inferiors. What place the Saviour came from when He 
came to the Baptist we are not told here; but we find it in 
Matthew, Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto Matt. 3, 
John to be baptized of him. CHRYS. Or; Matthew relates^ g 
directly Christ's coming to His baptism, John His coming a Horn, 
second time subsequent to His baptism, as appears from what^|y a 
follows: I saw the Spirit descending, fyc. The Evangelists 


have divided the periods of the history between them; 
Matthew passing over the part before John's imprisonment, 
and hastening to that event; John chiefly dwelling on what 
took place before the imprisonment. Thus he says, The 
next day John seeth Jesus coming to him. But why did He 
come to him the next day after His baptism? Having been 
baptized with the multitude, He wished to prevent any from 
thinking that He carne to John for the same reason that 
others did, viz. to confess His sins, and be washed in the 
river unto repentance. He comes therefore to give John 
an opportunity of correcting this mistake; which John 
accordingly did correct; viz. by those words, Behold the 
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 
For He Who was so pure, as to be able to absolve other men's 
sins, evidently could not have come thither for the sake of 
confessing His own ; but only to give John an opportunity of 
speaking of Him. He came too the next day, that those who 
had heard the former testimonies of John, might hear them 
again more plainly; and other besides. For he saith, Behold 
the Lamb of God, signifying that He was the one of old sought 
after, and reminding them of the prophecy of Isaiah, and 
of the shadows of the Mosaic law, in order that through the 
Aug. figure he might the easier lead them to the substance. AUG. 
c/ioJ If * ne Lamb of God is innocent, and John is the lamb, 
must he not be innocent? But all men come of that stock 
Ps. 51, of which David sings sorrowing, Behold, I was conceived in 
wickedness. He then alone was the Lamb, who was not 
thus conceived; for He was not conceived in wickedness, nor 
in sin did His mother bear Him in her womb, Whom a 
virgin conceived, a virgin brought forth, because that in faith 
Orig. she conceived, and in faith received. OKIGEN ; But whereas 
c ' 2 "' five kinds of animals are offered in the temple, three beasts of 
et seq. the field, a calf, a sheep, and a goat; and two fowls of the air, 
a turtle dove and a pigeon ; and of the sheep kind three are 
introduced, the ram, the ewe, the lamb; of these three he 
mentions only the lamb ; the lamb, as we know, being offered 
in the daily sacrifice, one in the morning, and one in the 
evening. But what other daily offering can there be, 
that can be meant to be offered by a reasonable nature, 
except the perfect Word, typically called the Lamb? This 

VER. 29 81. ST. JOHN. 57 

sacrifice, which is offered up as soon as the soul begins to 
be enlightened, shall be accounted as a morning sacrifice, 
referring to the frequent exercise of the mind in divine 
things; for the soul cannot continually apply to the highest 
objects because of its union with an earthly and gross body. 
By this Word too, Which is Christ the Lamb, we shall be able 
to reason on many things, and shall in a manner attain to 
Him in the evening, while engaged with things of the body 1 . 
But He Who offered the lamb for a sacrifice, was God hid 
in human form, the great Priest, He who saith below, 

man taketh it (My life] from Me, but I lay it down of 
Myself: whence this name, the Lamb of God: for He 
carrying our sorrows, and taking away the sins of the whole Isaiah 
world, hath undergone death, as it were baptism. For Godjp e 4 t ' 2 
suffers no fault to pass uncorrected; but punishes it by the 24 - 

T iifcpl 2 

sharpest discipline. THEOPHYL. He is called the Lamb of 50. 
God, because God the Father accepted His death for our salva- in loc - 
tion, or, in other words, because He delivered Him up to death 
for our sakes. For j ust as we say, This is the offering of such 
a man, meaning the offering made by him; in the same sense 
Christ is called the Lamb of God Who gave His Son to die 
for our salvation. And whereas that typical lamb did not 
take away any man's sin, this one hath taken away the sin 
of the whole world, rescuing it from the danger it was in 
from the wrath of God. Behold Him 1 Who taketh away the ' Yul &- 

J Ecce re- 

sin of the world: he saith not, who will take, but, fFAopeated 
taketh away the sin of the world; as if He were always 
doing this. For He did not then only take it away when He 
suffered, but from that time to the present, He taketh it 
away; not by being always crucified, for He made one 
sacrifice for sins, but by ever washing it by means of that 
sacrifice. GREG. But then only will sin be entirely taken r 

1 Christ the "Word is our real daily ritual thoughts, and this is still con- '- c * 

sacrifice. He carries on within us what tinued in the Christian, even although 32 ' 

is outwardly typified by the Mosaic by reason of the infirmity of the flesh, 

ritual. As in the Jewish temple the he cannot always abide in meditation on 

day began with the one continual sacri- the Divinest things, yet is, in Christ, 

fice which was carried on by others in engaged on many useful things, and so 

their turn through the day, (vid. Orig. vi. also when He comes even to the things 

c. 34.) till at last the evening sacrifice of the body, in themselves a sort of 

put a close to all sacred services: so in evening and night to the soul, still 

our minds a sacrifice is offered up to God doing them also in Christ, he closes all 

when the Word (from Whom our word, in Christ. 
i. e. reason, is derived) lights up spi- 


away from the human race, when our corruption has been 
turned to a glorious incorruption. We cannot be free from 
sin, so long as we are held in the death of the body, THEO- 

Theoph. PHYL. Why does he say the sin of the world, not sins ? 

m loc. jj ecause h e wished to express sin universally: just as we say 
commonly, that man was cast out of paradise; meaning 
the whole human race. GLOSS; Or by the sin of the world is 
meant original sin, which is common to the whole world: 
which original sin, as well as the sins of every one individually, 

Au g- Christ by His grace remits. AUG. For He Who took not sin 

Tr. iv.c. 

10, 11. from our nature, He it is Who taketh away our sin. Some 

say, We take away the sins of men, because we are holy; for 
if he, who baptizes, is not holy, how can he take away the 
other's sin, seeing he himself is full of sin ? Against these 
reasoners let us point to the text; Behold Him Who taketh 
away the sin of the world; in order to do away with such 

Orig. presumption in man towards man. ORIGEN; As there was 

c?36. V1 a connexion between the other sacrifices of the law, and the 
daily sacrifice of the lamb, in the same way the sacrifice of 
this Lamb has its reflexion in the pouring out of the blood of 
the Martyrs, by whose patience, confession, and zeal for 
goodness, the machinations of the ungodly are frustrated. 

Theoph. THEOPHYL. John having said above to those who came from 
the Pharisees, that there stood one among them whom they 
knew not, he here points Him out to the persons thus 
ignorant: This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a 
man which is preferred before me. Our Lord is called a man, 
in reference to His mature age, being thirty years old when 
He was baptized: or in a spiritual sense, as the Spouse of 

2 Cor. the Church; in which sense St. Paul speaks, I have espoused 
you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste 

Aug. virgin to Christ. AUG. He cometh after me, because he was 
Tr. iv. 

born after me: He is made before me, because He is preferred 

Greg, to me. GREG. He explains the reason of this superiority, in 

vii?7n what follows: For He wan before me; as if his meaning was; 

Ev. c. 3. And this is the reason of His being superior to me, though 

born after me, viz. that He is not circumscribed by the time 

of His nativity. He Who was born of His mother in time, 

Theoph. was begotten of His Father out of time. THEOPHYL. Attend, 

m loc. Q Arms. He saith not, He was created before me, but He 

VER. 29 31. ST. JOHN. 59 

was before me. Let the false sect of Paul of Samosata 
attend. They will see that He did not derive His original 
existence from Mary; for if He derived the beginning of 
His being from the Virgin, how could He have been before 
His precursor? it being evident that the precursor preceded 
Christ by six months, according to the human birth. CHHYS. Chrys. 
That He might not seem however to give His testimony from x^j 11 /^ 
any motive of friendship or kindred, in consequence of his being *vi.) 2. 
related to our Lord according to the flesh, he says, / knew 
Him not. John could not of course know Him, having lived 
in the desert. And the miraculous events of Christ's child 
hood, the journey of the Magi, and such like, were now 
a long time past; John having been quite an infant, when 
they happened. And throughout the whole of the interval, 
He had been absolutely unknown: insomuch that John 
proceeds, But that He should be made manifest to Israel, 
therefore am I come baptizing with icaler. (And hence it is 
clear that the miracles said to have been performed by Christ 
in His childhood, are false and fictitious. For if Jesus had 
performed miracles at this early age, he would not have been 
unknown to John, nor would the multitude have wanted 
a teacher to point Him out ) Christ Himself then did not 
want baptism; nor was that washing for any other reason, 
than to give a sign beforehand of faith in Christ. For 
John saith not, in order to change men, and deliver from sin, 
but, that he should be made manifest in Israel, have I come 
baptizing. But would it not have been lawful for him to 
preach, and bring crowds together, without baptizing? Yes: 
but this was the easier way, for he would not have collected 
such numbers, had he preached without baptizing. AUG. Aug. 
Now when our Lord became known, it was unnecessary to ^{^{ 
prepare a way for Him; for to those who knew Him, He 
became His own way. And therefore John's baptism did 
not last long, but only so long as to shew our Lord's 
humility. Our Lord received baptism from a servant, in Tr. v. 
order to give us such a lesson of humility as might prepare c ' 5 * 
us for receiving the grace of baptism, And that the servant's 
baptism might not be set before the Lord's, others were 
baptized with it; who after receiving it, had to receive our 
Lord's baptism : whereas those who first received our Lord's 
baptism, did not receive the servant's after. 


32. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit 
descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode 
upon him. 

33. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to 
baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon 
whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and re 
maining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with 
the Holy Ghost. 

34. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son 
of God. 

Chrys. CHRYS. John having made a declaration, so astonishing 

xvii.(al. to all his hearers, viz. that He, whom he pointed out, did of 

xvi.)2. Himself take away the sins of the world, confirms it by 

a reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. For John 

might be asked, how did you know Him? Wherefore he 

replies beforehand, by the descent of the Holy Spirit: And 

John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from 

Aug. de heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. AUG. This was 

Trm.xv. /. ^n , 

c. 46. not however the first occasion of Christ s receiving the 
( 6> ) unction of the Holy Spirit: viz. Its descent upon Him at 
His baptism; wherein He condescended to prefigure His 
body, the Church, wherein those who are baptized receive 
preeminently the Holy Spirit. For it would be absurd to 
suppose that at thirty years old, (which was His age, when 
He was baptized by John,) He received for the first time the 
Holy Spirit: and that, when He came to that baptism, as He 
was without sin, so was He without the Holy Spirit. For if 
even of His servant and forerunner John it is written, He 
shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from His mother's 
womb; if He, though sprung from His father's seed, yet 
received the Holy Ghost, when as yet He was only formed 
in the womb; what ought we to think and believe of Christ, 
whose very flesh had not a carnal but spiritual conception ? 
Au &- AUG. We do not attribute to Christ only the possession of 


Chris- a real body, and say that the Holy Spirit assumed a false 
' 2 C \ appearance to men's eyes: for the Holy Spirit could no 
more, in consistency with His nature, deceive men, than could 
the Son of God. The Almighty God, Who made every 
creature out of nothing, could as easily form a real body of 

VER. 32 34. ST. JOHN. 61 

a dove, without the instrumentality of other doves, as He 
made a real body in the womb of the Virgin, without the 
seed of the male. AUG. The Holy Ghost was made to Aug. 

. ., , j T , TT . in Joan. 

appear visibly in two ways: as a dove, upon our Lord at Hisxr. vi. 
baptism ; and as a flame upon His disciples, when they were s P arsim 
met together: the former shape denoting simplicity, the 
latter fervency. The dove intimates that souls sanctified 
by the Spirit should have no guile; the fire, that in that 
simplicity there should not be coldness. Nor let it disturb 
thee, that the tongues are cloven ; fear no division ; unity is 
assured to us in the dove. It was meet then that the Holy 
Spirit should be thus manifested descending upon our Lord; 
in order that every one who had the Spirit might know, that 
he ought to be simple as a dove, and be in sincere peace 
with the brethren. The kisses of doves represent this peace. 
Ravens kiss, but they tear also; but the nature of the dove is 
most alien to tearing. Ravens feed on the dead, but the 
dove eats nothing but the fruits of the earth. If doves 
moan in their love, marvel not that He Who appeared in the 
likeness of a dove, the Holy Spirit, maketh intercession for Rm- 8, 
us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Holy Spirit 
however groaneth not in Himself, but in us: He maketh us 
to groan. And he who groaneth, as knowing that, so long 
as He is under the burden of this mortality, he is absent from 
the Lord, groaneth well: it is the Spirit that hath taught him 
to groan. But many groan because of earthly calamities; 
because of losses which disquiet them, or bodily sickness 
which weigh heavily on them: they groan not, as doth the 
dove. What then could more fitly represent the Holy 
Spirit, the Spirit of unity, than the dove ? as He saith 
Himself to His reconciled Church, My dove is one. What Cant>6 > 
could better express humility, than the simplicity and 
moaning of a dove? Wherefore on this occasion it was 
that there appeared the very most Holy Trinity, the Father 
in the voice which said, Thou art My beloved Son; the 
Holy Spirit in the likeness of the dove. In that Trinity the Matt. 
Apostles were sent to baptize, i. e. in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. GREG. He saith, Greg. 
Abode upon Him: for the Holy Spirit visits all the faithful ; u 
but on the Mediator alone does He abide for ever in a 


peculiar manner; never leaving the Son's Humanity, even as 
He proceeds Himself from the Son's Divinity. Bui when 
John 14, the disciples are told of the same Spirit, He shall dwell with 
you, how is the abiding of the Spirit a peculiar sign of 
Christ? This will appear if we distinguish between the 
different gifts of the Spirit. As regards those gifts which 
are necessary for attaining to life, the Holy Spirit ever abides 
in all the elect; such are gentleness, humility, faith, hope, 
charity : but with respect to those, which have for their 
object, not our own salvation, but that of others, he does not 
always abide, but sometimes withdraws, and ceases to exhibit 
them; that men may be more humble in the possession of 
His gifts. But Christ had all the gifts of the Spirit, un- 
Chrys. interruptedly always. CHRYS. Should any however think that 
xvHOil. Christ really wanted the Holy Spirit, in the way that we do, 
xvi.) 2. he corrects this notion also, by informing us that the descent 
' of the Holy Ghost took place only for the purpose of mani 
festing Christ : And I knew Him not : but He that sent me to 
baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou 
shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the 
Aug. same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. AUG. 
c F j v ' But who sent John? If we say the Father, we say true; if 
we say the Son, we say true. But it would be truer to say, 
the Father and the Son. How then knew he not Him, by 
Whom he was sent? For if he knew not Him, by Whom he 
wished to be baptized, it was rash in him to say, / have 
need to be baptized by Thee. So then he knew Him ; and why 
Chrys. saith he, I knew Him not? CHRYS. When he saith, / knew 
H ?' , Him not, he is speaking of time past, not of the time of his 
xvi.)c.s. baptism, when he forbad Him, saying, I have need to be bap- 
Aug aD tized f TJiee. AUG. Let us turn to the other Evangelists, who 
Tr. iv.v. relate the matter more clearly, and we shall find most satis- 
sparsim. factorily, that the dove descended when our Lord ascended 
from the water. If then the dove descended after baptism, 
but John said before the baptism, / have need to be baptized 
of Thee, he knew Him before His baptism also. How then 
said he, / knew him not, but He which sent me to baptize? 
Was this the first revelation made to John of Christ's 
person, or was it not rather a fuller disclosure of what had 
been already revealed ? John knew the Lord to be the Son 

VEH. 3-2 34. ST. JOHN. 63 

of God, knew that He would baptize with the Holy Ghost: 
for before Christ came to the river, many having come 
together to hear John, he said unto them, He that cometh Matt. 3, 
after me is mightier than I: He shall baptize you with the 
Holy Ghost and with fire. What then? He did not know 
that our Lord (lest Paul or Peter might say, my baptism, as 
we find Paul did say, my Gospel,) would have and retain to 
Himself the power of baptism, the ministering of it however 
passing to good and bad indiscriminately. What hindrance 
is the badness of the minister, when the Lord is good? So 
then we baptize again after John's baptism ; after a homicide's 
we baptize not: because John gave his own baptism, the 
homicide gives Christ's; which is so holy a sacrament, that 
not even a homicide's ministration can pollute it. Our Lord 
could, had He so willed, have given power to any servant of 
His to give baptism as it were in His own stead; and to the 
baptism, thus transferred to the servant, have imparted the 
same power, that it would have had, when given by Himself. 
But this He did not choose to do; that the hope of the baptized 
might be directed to Him, Who had baptized them; He 
wished not the servant to place hope in the servant. And 
again, had He given this power to servants, there would 
have been as many baptisms as servants; as there had been 
the baptism of John, so should we have had the baptism of 
Paul and of Peter. It is by this power then, which Christ 
retains in His own possession exclusively, that the unity of 
the Church is established; of which it is said, My dove is one. Cant. 6 
A man may have a baptism besides the dove; but that any 9 - 
besides the dove should profit, is impossible. CHRYS. The Chrys. 
Father having sent forth a voice proclaiming the Son, the Holy x^^. 
Spirit came besides, bringing the voice upon the head of Christ, xvi -) 3 - 
in order that no one present might think that what was said of 
Christ, was said of John. But it will be asked: How was it 
that the Jews believed not, if they saw the Spirit ? Such sights 
however require the mental vision, rather than the bodily. 
If those who saw Christ working miracles were so drunken 
with malice, that they denied what their own eyes had seen, 
how could the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the form of a 
dove overcome their incredulity ? Some say however that the 
sight was riot visible to all, but only to John, and the more 


devotional part. But even if the descent of the Spirit, as 
a dove, was visible to the outward eye, it does not follow 
that because all saw it, all understood it. Zacharias himself, 
Daniel, Ezechiel, and Moses saw many things, appearing to 
their senses, which no one else saw: and therefore John 
adds, And I saw and bare record that this is the Son of 
God. He had called Him the Lamb before, and said that 
He would baptize with the Spirit; but he had no where 
Aug. called Him the Son before. AUG. It was necessary that the 
j n r joan. Only Son of God should baptize, not an adopted son. 
Adopted sons are ministers of the Only Son: but though 
they have the ministration, the Only one alone has the 

35. Again the next day after John stood, and two 
of his disciples; 

36. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, 
Behold the Lamb of God ! 

Chrys. CHRYS. Many not having attended to John's words at 
xviiHal ^ rst > k e rouses them a second time: Again the next day 
ivii.) i. after John stood, and two of his disciples. BEDE; John 
Bede. stood, because he had ascended that citadel of all excel- 

Hom. in 

Vigil, lences, from which no temptations could cast him down : his 

S. And. disciples stood with him, as stout-hearted followers of their 
Chrys. master. CHRYS. But wherefore went he not all about, 
T(al. preaching in every place of Judaea; instead of standing near 


xvii.) c. t ne river, waiting for His coming, that he might point Him 
out? Because he wished this to be done by the works of 
Christ Himself. And observe how much greater an effort was 
produced ; He struck a small spark, and suddenly it rose into 
a flame. Again, if John had gone about and preached, it 
would have seemed like human partiality, and great suspicion 
would have been excited. Now the Prophets and Apostles 
all preached Christ absent; the former before His appearance 
in the flesh, the latter after His assumption. But He was to 
be pointed out by the eye, not by the voice only; and 
therefore it follows : And looking upon Jesus as He walked, 
he saith, Behold the iMmb of God! THEOPHYL. Looking 

VER. 87 40. ST. JOHN. 65 

he saith, as if signifying by his looks his love and admiration 
for Christ. AUG. John was the friend of the Bridegroom; Aug. 
he sought not his own glory, but bare witness to the truth. c ^ n ' 
And therefore he wished not his disciples to remain with 
him, to the hindrance of their duty to follow the Lord; but 
rather shewed them whom they should follow, saying, Behold 
the Lamb of God. CHRYS. He makes not a long discourse, Chrys. 
having only one object before him, to bring them and join r ^*| f 
them to Christ; knowing that they would not any further in Joan - 
need his witness. John does not however speak to his c. 2. 
disciples alone, but publicly in the presence of all. And so, 
undertaking to follow Christ, through this instruction common 
to all, they remained thenceforth firm, following Christ for their 
own advantage, not as an act of favour to their master x . John 
does not exhort: he simply gazes in admiration on Christ, 
pointing out the gift y He came to bestow, thecleansingfrom sin: 
and the mode in which this would be accomplished: both of 
which the word Lamb testifies to. Lamb has the article affixed 
to it, as a sign of preeminence. AUG. For He alone and singly Aug. 
is the Lamb without spot, without sin ; not because His c 5 
spots are wiped oflj but because He never had a spot. He 
alone is the Lamb of God, for by His blood alone can men 
be redeemed. This is the Lamb whom the wolves fear; c. 6. 
even the slain Lamb, by whom the lion was slain. BEDE. Bede. 
The Lamb therefore he calls Him ; for that He was about to 
give us freely His fleece, that we might make of it a wedding- 
garment; i. e. would leave us an example of life, by which 
we should be warmed into love. ALCUIN. John stands in a 
mystical sense, the Law having ceased, and Jesus comes, 
bringing the grace of the Gospel, to which that same Law 
bears testimony. Jesus wal/cs, to collect disciples. BEDE. Bede. 
The walking of Jesus has a reference to the economy of the yj"' 11 
Incarnation, by means of which He has condescended to S. And. 
come to us, and give us a pattern of life. 

37. And the two disciples heard him speak, and 
they followed Jesus. 

* TV S/SaVxa/Uv, i. e. John. In the eg a<r rev xx^a^eu. The Cat. has " pnr- 

Cat. is substituted " propter gratiam parationem propter quam venit et mo- 

Christi." dum preparations. " Perhaps it should 

>' Tfl Sgia> If' rS ffutsyiitra xeti T be " purgationis." 


38. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, 
and saith unto them, What seek ye ? They said unto 
Him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, 
Master,) where dwellest thou ? 

39. He saith unto them, Come and see. They 
came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him 
that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 

40. One of the two which heard John speak, and 
followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 

ALCDIN. John having borne witness that Jesus was the 
Lamb of God, the disciples who had been hitherto with him, 
in obedience to his command, followed Jesus : And the two 
Chrys. disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. CHRYS. 
^,' Observe ; when he said, He that cometh after me is made 
i et sq. before me, and, Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to 
unloose, he gained over none ; but when he made mention 
of the economy, and gave his discourse a humbler turn, saying, 
Behold the Lamb of God, then his disciples followed Christ. 
For many persons are less influenced by the thoughts of 
God's greatness and majesty, than when they hear of His 
being man's Helper and Friend ; or any thing pertaining to 
the salvation of men. Observe too, when John says, Behold 
the Lamb of God, Christ says nothing. The Bridegroom 
stands by in silence ; others introduce Him, and deliver the 
Bride into His hands; He receives her, and so treats her that 
she no longer remembers those who gave her in marriage. 
Thus Christ came to unite to Himself the Church ; He said 
nothing Himself; but John, the friend of the Bridegroom, 
came forth, and put the Bride's right hand in His ; i. e. by 
his preaching delivered into His hands men's souls, whom 
receiving He so disposed of, that they returned no more to 
John. And observe farther; As at a marriage the maiden 
goes not to meet the bridegroom, (even though it be a king's 
son who weds a humble handmaid,) but he hastens to her ; 
so is it here. For human nature ascended not into heaven, 
but the Son of God came down to human nature, and took 
her to His Father's house. Again ; There were disciples of 
John who not only did not follow Christ, but were even 

VER. 37 40. ST. JOHN. 67 

enviously disposed toward Him ; but the better part heard, 
and followed ; not from contempt of their former master, but 
by his persuasion ; because he promised them that Christ 
would baptize with the Holy Ghost. And see with what 
modesty their zeal was accompanied. They did not straight 
way go and interrogate Jesus on great and necessary doc 
trines, nor in public, but sought private converse with Him; 
for we are told that Jesus turned, and saw them following, 
and saith unto them, What seek ye ? Hence we learn, that 
when we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us 
opportunities enough of improvement. Christ asks the 
question, not because He needed to be told, but in order to 
encourage familiarity and confidence, and shew that He 
thought them worthy of His instructions. THEOPHYL. Ob- in loc. 
serve then, that it was upon those who followed Him, that 
our Lord turned His face and looked upon them. Unless 
thou by thy good works follow Him, thou shalt never be 
permitted to see His face, or enter into His dwelling. 
ALCUIN. The disciples followed behind His back, in order to 
see Him, and did not see His face. So He turns round, and, 
as it were, lowers His majesty, that they might be enabled to 
behold His' face. ORIGEN. Perhaps it is not without aOrig. 
reason, that after six testimonies John ceases to bear witness, c?^" 
and Jesus asks seventhly, What seek ye? CHRYS. Andchrys. 
besides following Him, their questions shewed their love for 
Christ; They said unto Him, Rabbi, (which is, being inter- 
preted, Master,} where dwellest Thou ? They call Him, sp 
Master, before they have learnt any thing from Him ; thus 
encouraging themselves in their resolution to become dis 
ciples, and to shew the reason why they followed. ORIGEN. 
An avowal, befitting persons who came from hearing John's 
testimony. They put themselves under Christ's teaching, 
and expres's their desire to see the dwelling of the Son of 
God. ALCUIN. They do not wish to be under His teaching 
for a time only, but enquire where He abides; wishing an 
immediate initiation in the secrets of His word, and after 
wards meaning often to visit Him, and obtain fuller instruc 
tion. And, in a mystical sense too, they wish to know in 
whom Christ dwells, that profiting by their example they 
may themselves become fit to be His dwelling. Or, their 


seeing Jesus walking, and straightway enquiring where He 
resides, is an intimation to us, that we should, remembering 
His Incarnation, earnestly entreat Him to shew us our 
eternal habitation. The request being so good a one, Christ 
promises a free and full disclosure. He saith unto them, 
Come and see: that is to say, My dwelling is not to be under 
stood by words, but by works ; come, therefore, by believing 
Orig. and working, and then see by understanding. ORIGEN. Or 
c? 1 ^ 11 perhaps come, is an invitation to action; see, to contempla- 
Chrys. tion. CHRYS. Christ does not describe His house and 
xviii. situation, but brings them after Him, shewing that he had 
(al.xvii.) already accepted them as His own. He says not, It is not 
the time now, to-morrow ye shall hear if ye wish to learn ; 
but addresses them familiarly, as friends who had lived with 
him a long time. But how is it that He saith in another 
Matt. 8, place, The Son of man hath not where to lay His head ? 


when here He says, Come and see where I live ? His not 
having where to lay His head, could only have meant that 
He had no dwelling of His own, not that He did not live in 
a house at all : for the next words are, They came and saw 
where He dwelt, and abode with Him that day. Why they 
stayed the Evangelist does not say : it being obviously for the 
Au s-.. sake of His teaching. AUG. What a blessed day and night 
c. 9. was that ! Let us too build up in our hearts within, and 
make Him an house, whither He may come and teach us. 
THEOPHYL. And it was about the tenth hour. The Evan 
gelist mentions the time of day purposely, as a hint both to 
teachers and learners, not to let time interfere with their 
Chrys. work. CHRYS. It shewed a strong desire to hear Him, 
xviii! 3. since even at sunset they did not turn from Him. To 
sensual persons the time after meals is unsuitable for any 
grave employment, their bodies being overloaded with food. 
But John, whose disciples these were, was not such an one. 
His evening was a more abstemious one than our mornings. 
Aug. AUG. The number here signifies the law, which was composed 
oio f t en commandments. The time had come when the law 
was to be fulfilled by love, the Jews, who acted from fear, 
having been unable to fulfil it, and therefore was it at the 
tenth hour that our Lord heard Himself called, Rabbi; 
1 magis-none but the eiver of the law is the teacher 1 of the law. 


VER. 41, 42. ST. JOHN. 69 

CHRYS. One of the two which heard John speak and followed Chrya. 
Him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. Why is the other ^^' 3 
name left out ? Some say, because this Evangelist himself was 
that other. Others, that it was a disciple of no eminence, 
and that there was no use in telling his name any more than 
those of the seventy-two, which are omitted. ALCUIN. Or it 
would seem that the two disciples who followed Jesus were 
Andrew and Philip. 

41. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and 
saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, 
being interpreted, the Christ. 

42. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus 
beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona : 
thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, 
A stone. 

CHRYS. Andrew kept not our Lord's words to himself; butchrys. 
ran in haste to his brother, to report the good tidings : He^^i 
first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We 
have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the 
Christ. BEDE. This is truly to find the Lord; viz. to haveBede. 
fervent love for Him, together with a care for our brother's y?" 1 ^" 1 
salvation. CHRYS. The Evangelist does not mention what Andr. 
Christ said to those who followed Him ; but we may infer it Horn! 
from what follows. Andrew declares in few words what he *ix. (al. 

X Vlll."^ 1 

had learnt, discloses the power of that Master Who had 
persuaded them, and his own previous longings after Him. 
For this exclamation, We have found, expresses a longing for 
His coming, turned to exultation, now that He was really 
come. AUG. Messias in Hebrew, Christus in Greek, UnctusAug. 
in Latin. Chrism is unction, and He had a special unction, rr jj n ' 
which from Him extended to all Christians, as appears in the 
Psalm, God, even Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil ofp*. 44, 
gladness above Thy fellows 1 . All holy persons are partakers} 4 .^ ; 
with Him ; but He is specially the Holy of Holies, specially pibus 
anointed. CHRYS. And therefore he said not Messias, but Chrys. 
the Messias. Mark the obedience of Peter from the^"" 1 ',, 
very first; he went immediately without delay, as appears 


from the next words: And he brought him to Jesus. 
Nor let us blame him as too yielding, because he did not 
ask many questions, before he received the word. It is 
reasonable to suppose that his brother had told him all, 
and sufficiently fully ; but the Evangelists often make omissions 
for the sake of brevity. But, besides this, it is not absolutely 
said that he did believe, but only, He took him to Jesus ; 
i. e. to learn from the mouth of Jesus Himself, what Andrew 
hadreported. Our Lord begins now Himself to reveal the things 
of His Divinity, and to exhibit them gradually by prophecy. 
For prophecies are no less persuasive than miracles; inas 
much as they are preeminently God's work, and are beyond 
the power of devils to imitate, while miracles may be 
phantasy or appearance: the foretelling future events with 
certainty is an attribute of the incorruptible nature 
alone: And when Jesus beheld him, He said, Thou art 
Simon the son of Jonas; thou shall be called Cephas, which 
Bede. fa ty interpretation, A stone. BEDE. He beheld him not 
Temp, with His natural eye only, but by the insight of His Godhead 

discerned from eternity the simplicity and greatness of his 
Andr. soul, for which he was to be elevated above the whole 
Church. In the word Peter, we must not look for any 
additional meaning, as though it were of Hebrew or Syriac 
derivation ; for the Greek and Latin word Peter, has the 
same meaning as Cephas; being in both languages derived 
from petra. He is called Peter on account of the firmness of 
his faith, in cleaving to that Rock, of which the Apostle 
i Cor. speaks, And that Bock was Christ; which secures those 
who trust in it from the snares of the enemy, and dispenses 
Aug. streams of spiritual gifts. AUG. There was nothing very 
c. 14. great in our Lord saying whose son he was, for our Lord 
knew the names of all His saints, having predestinated them 
before the foundation of the world. But it was a great thing 
for our Lord to change his name from Simon to Peter. 
Peter is from petra, rock, which rock is the Church : so that the 
name of Peter represents the Church. And who is safe, 
unless he build upon a rock? Our Lord here rouses 
our attention : for had he been called Peter before, we 
should not have seen the mystery of the Rock, and should 
have thought that he was called so by chance, and not pro- 

VEB. 43 46. ST. JOHN. 71 

videntially. God therefore made him to be called by another 
name before, that the change of that name might give vivid 
ness to the mystery. CHRYS. He changed the name too to Chrys. 
shew that He was the same who done so before in the Old xix ( al . 
Testament; who had called Abram Abraham, Sarai Sarah, xviii.2.) 
Jacob Israel. Many He had named from their birth, as 
Isaac and Samson ; others again after being named by their 
parents, as were Peter, and the sons of Zebedee. Those 
whose virtue was to be eminent from the first, have names 
given them from the first; those who were to be exalted 
afterwards, are named afterwards. AUG. The account Aug. 
here of the two disciples on the Jordan, who follow Christ 

(before he had gone into Galilee) in obedience to John's 1 -"- c ' 
testimony ; viz. of Andrew bringing his brother Simon 
to Jesus, who gave him, on this occasion, the name of Peter; 
disagrees considerably with the account of the other Evan 
gelists, viz. that our Lord found these two, Simon and 
Andrew, fishing in Galilee, and then bid them follow Him : 
unless we understand that they did not regularly join our 
Lord when they saw Him on the Jordan ; but only discovered 
who He was, and full of wonder, then returned to their occu 
pations. Nor must we think that Peter first received his 
name on the occasion mentioned in Matthew, when our Lord 
says, Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My Mat. 16, 
Church ; but rather when our Lord says, Thou shall be called ' 
Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. ALCUIN. Or per 
haps He does not actually give him the name now, but only 
fixes beforehand what He afterwards gave him when He said, 
Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build My Church. 
And while about to change his name, Christ wishes to shew 
that even that which his parents had given him, was not 
without a meaning. For Simon signifies obedience, Joanna 
grace, Jona a dove : as if the meaning was ; Thou art an 
obedient son of grace, or of the dove, i. e. the Holy Spirit ; 
for thou hast received of the Holy Spirit the humility, to 
desire, at Andrew's call, to see Me. The elder disdained not 
to follow the younger ; for where there is meritorious faith, 
there is no order of seniority. 

43. The day following Jesus would go forth into 



Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow 

44. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew 
and Peter. 

45. Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, 
We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and 
the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of 

46. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any 
good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto 
him, Come and see. 

Chrys. CHRYS. After gaining these disciples, Christ proceeded to 
I * om ' convert others, viz. Philip and Nathanael : The day follow 
ing, Jesus would go forth into Galilee. ALCUIN. Leaving, 
that is, Judaea, where John was baptizing, out of respect to 
the Baptist, and not to appear to lower his office, so long as 
it continued. He was going too to call a disciple, and wished 
to go forth into Galilee, i. e. to a place of " transition" or 
"revelation," that is to say, that as He Himself increased in 
wisdom or stature, and in favour with God and man, and as 
He suffered and rose again, and entered into His glory : so He 
would teach His followers to go forth, and increase in virtue, 
and pass through suffering to joy. He findeth Philip, 
and saith unto him, Follow Me. Every one follows 
Jesus who imitates His humility and suffering, in order to be 
Chrys. partaker of His resurrection and ascension. CHRYS. Observe, 
Horn. jj e ^-^ UQt ca j| t h enij before some had of their own accord 
joined Him : for had He invited them, before any had joined 
Him, perhaps they would have started back : but now having 
determined to follow of their own free choice, they remain 
firm ever after. He calls Philip, however, because he would 
be known to him, from living in Galilee. But what made 
Philip follow Christ ? Andrew heard from John the Baptist, 
and Peter from Andrew ; he had heard from no one ; and 
yet on Christ saying, Follow Me, was persuaded instantly. 
It is not improbable that Philip may have heard John : and 
yet it may have been the mere voice of Christ which pro 
duced this effect. THEOPUYL. For the voice of Christ 

VEB. 43 46. ST. JOHN. 73 

sounded not like a common voice to some, that is, the faith 
ful, but kindled in their inmost soul the love of Him. 
Philip having been continually meditating on Christ, and 
reading the books of Moses, so confidently expected Him, 
that the instant he saw, he believed. Perhaps too he had 
heard of Him from Andrew and Peter, coming from the same 
district ; an explanation which the Evangelist seems to hint 
at, when he adds, Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of 
Andrew and Peter. CHRYS. The power of Christ appears Chrya. 
by His gathering fruit out of a barren country. For from xx on |' 
that Galilee, out of which there ariseth no prophet, He takes 
His most distinguished disciples. ALCUIN. Bethsaida means 
house of hunters. The Evangelist introduces the name of 
this place by way of allusion to the characters of Philip, 
Peter, and Andrew, and their future office, i. e. catching and 
saving souls. CHRYS. Philip is not persuaded himself, but Chrys. 
begins preaching to others: Philip findeth Nathanael, and^i 
saith unto him. We have found Him of whom Moses in the 
Law, and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the Son 
of Joseph. See how zealous he is, and how constantly he is 
meditating on the books of Moses, and looking for Christ's 
coming. That Christ was coming he had known before; 
but he did not know that this was the Christ, of whom 
Moses and the Prophets did write : He says this to give cre 
dibility to his preaching, and to shew his zeal for the Law and 
the Prophets, and how that he had examined them attentively. 
Be not disturbed at his calling our Lord the Son of Joseph ; 
this was what He was supposed to be. AUG. The person to Aug. 
whom our Lord's mother had been betrothed. The Christians ^5 "' 
know from the Gospel, that He was conceived and born of 
an undeiiled mother. He adds the place too, of Nazareth. 
THKOPHYL. He was bred up there : the place of His birth 
could not have been known generally, but all knew that He 
was bred up in Nazareth. 

And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing 
come out of Nazareth. AUG. However you may understand Aug. 
these words, Philip's answer will suit. You may read itj 1 ^ 11 ' 
either as affirmatory, Something good can come out ofie, 17. 
Nazareth; to which the other says, Come and see: or you 
may read it as a question, implying doubt on Nathauael's 


part, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Come 

and see. Since either way of reading agrees equally with what 

follows, we must inquire the meaning of the passage. 

Nathanael was well read in the Law, and therefore the word 

Nazareth (Philip having said that he had found Jesus of 

Nazareth) immediately raises his hopes, and he exclaims, 

Something good can come out of Nazareth. He had searched 

the Scriptures, and knew, what the Sciibes and Pharisees 

could not, that the Saviour was to be expected thence. 

ALCUIN. He who alone is absolutely holy, harmless, unde- 

isaiab filed ; of whom the prophet saith, There shall come forth 

n > 1 - a rod out of the stem of Jesse ', and a branch (Nazarteus] shall 

grow out of his roots. Or the words may be taken as ex- 

Chrys pressing doubt, and asking the question. CHRYS. Nathanael 

Horn, knew from the Scriptures, that Christ was to come from 

xx 12 . 

Micah Bethlehem, according to the prophecy of Micah, And thou, 
5 ) 2 - Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, out of thee shall come a 
Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. On hearing of 
Nazareth, then, he doubted, and was not able to reconcile 
Philip's tidings with prophecy. For the Prophets call Him a 
Nazarene, only in reference to His education and mode of 
life. Observe, however, the discretion and gentleness with 
which he communicates his doubts. He does not say, Thou 
deceivest me, Philip ; but simply asks the question, Can any 
good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip too in turn is 
equally discrete. He is not confounded by the question, but 
dwells upon it, and lingers in the hope of bringing him to 
Christ: Philip saith unto him, Come and see. He takes 
him to Christ, knowing that when he had once tasted of 
His words and doctrine, he will make no more resistance. 

47. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith 
of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no 
guile ! 

46. Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest 
thou me ? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before 
that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig- 
tree, I saw thee. 

VEK. 47 51. ST. JOHN. 75 

49. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, 
thou art the Son of God ; thou art the King of Israel. 

50. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I 
said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest 
thou ? thou shalt see greater things than these. 

51. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say 
unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the 
angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son 
of man. 

CHRYS. Nathanael, in difficulty as to Christ coming out Chrys. 
of Nazareth, shewed the care with which he had read the ^ m ' 
Scriptures : his not rejecting the tidings when brought him, 
shewed his strong desire for Christ's coming. He thought 
that Philip might be mistaken as to the place. It follows, 
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him, 
Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! There 
was no fault to be found with him, though he had spoken 
like one who did not believe, because he was more deeply 
read in the Prophets than Philip. He calls him guileless, 
because he had said nothing to gain favour, or gratify malice. 
AUG. What rneaneth this, In whom is no guile ? Had he no Aug. 
sin ? Was no physician necessary for him ? Far from it. No J r j J 11 ' 
one was ever born, of a temper not to need the Physician. 
It is guile, when we say one thing, and think another. How 
then was there no guile in him ? Because, if he was a sinner, 
he confessed his sin ; whereas if a man, being a sinner, 
pretends to be righteous, there is guile in his mouth. Our 
Lord then commended the confession of sin in Nathanael ; 
He did not pronounce him not a sinner. THEOPHYL. Na 
thanael however, notwithstanding this praise, does not 
acquiesce immediately, but waits for further evidence, and 
asks, Whence knowest Thou me ? CHRYS. He asks as man, chrys. 
Jesus answers as God : Jesus answered and said unto him, Horn. 
Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the 
fig tree, I saw thee: not having beheld him as man, but as 
God discerning him from above. / saw thee, He says, that 
is, the character of thy life, when thou wast under the fig tree: 
where the two, Philip and Nathanael, had been talking to- 


gether alone, nobody seeing them ; and on this account it is 

said, that on seeing him a long way off, He said, Behold an 

Israelite indeed ; whence it appears that this speech was 

before Philip came near, so that no suspicion could attach 

to Christ's testimony. Christ would not say, I am not of 

Nazareth, as Philip told you, but of Bethlehem ; in order to 

ivQit- avoid an argument: and because it would not have been 

/t!vTa'- sufficient proof, had He mentioned it, of His being the 

y- Christ. Pie preferred rather proving this by His having 

Aug. been present at their conversation. AUG. Has this fig tree 

Ci 2 1. ' any meaning ? We read of one fig tree which was cursed, 

because it had only leaves, and no fruit. Again, at the 

creation, Adam and Eve, after sinning, made themselves 

aprons of fig leaves. Fig leaves then signify sins ; and 

Nathanael, when he was under the fig tree, was under the 

shadow of death : so that our Lord seemeth to say, O Israel, 

whoever of you is without guile, O people of the Jewish 

faith, before that I called thee by My Apostles, when thou 

wert as yet under the shadow of death, and sawest Me not, I 

Greg, saw thee. GREG. When thou wast under the fig tree, I saw 

Mor.'c. thee; i. e. when thou wast yet under the shade of the law, I 

xxxviii. chose thee. AUG. Nathanael remembered that he had been 
Aug. under the fig tree, where Christ was not present corporeally, 

but only by His spiritual knowledge. Hence, knowing that he 
(122.) had been alone, he recognised our Lord's Divinity. CHRYS. 
Chrys. That our Lord then had this knowledge, had penetrated 
xx. into his mind, had not blamed but praised his hesitation, 
proved to Nathanael that He was the true Christ : Nathanael 
answered and saith unto Him, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of 
God, Thou art the King of Israel : as if he said, Thou art He 
who was expected, thou art He who was sought for. Sure 
proof being obtained, he proceeds to make confession ; 
herein shewing his devotion, as his former hesitation had 
Hom. shewn his diligence. ID. Many when they read this passage, 
xxl) l. are perplexed at finding that, whereas Peter was pronounced 
blessed for having, after our Lord's miracles and teaching, 
confessed Him to be the Son of God, Nathanael, who makes 
the same confession before, has no such benediction. The 
reason is this. Peter and Nathanael both used the same 
words, but not in the same meaning. Peter confessed our 

VER. 47 51. ST. JOHN. 77 

Lord to be the Son of God, in the sense of very God ; the 
latter in the sense of mere man ; for after saying, Thou art 
the Son of God, he adds, Thou art the King of Israel; 
whereas the Son of God was not the King of Israel only, but 
of the whole world. This is manifest from what follows. 
For in the case of Peter Christ added nothing, but, as if his 
faith were perfect, said, that he would build the Church upon 
his confession ; whereas Nathanael, as if his confession were 
very deficient, is led up to higher things : Jesus answered 
and said unto him.) Because I said unto thee, I saw thee 
under the Jig tree, believest thou ? Thou shall see greater 
things than these. As if He said, What I have just said has 
appeared a great matter to thee, and thou hast confessed Me to 
be King of Israel ; what wilt thou say when thou secst 
greater things than these ? What that greater thing is He 
proceeds to shew : And He saith unto him, Verily, verily, I 
say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the 
angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of 
man. See how He raises him from earth for a while, and 
forces him to thiuk that Christ is not a mere man : for how 
could He be a mere man, whom angels ministered to ? 
It was, as it were, saying, that He was Lord of .the Angels; 
for He must be the King's own Son, on whom the servants 
of the King descended and ascended ; descended at His 
crucifixion, ascended at His resurrection and ascension. 
Angels too before this came and ministered unto Him, 
and angels brought the glad tidings of His birth. Our Lord 
made the present a proof of the future. After the powers He 
had already shewn, Nathanael would readily believe that 
much more would follow. AUG. Let us recollect the Old Aug. in 
Testament account. Jacob saw in a dream a ladder jjom. 
reaching from earth to heaven ; the Lord resting upon 
it, and the angels ascending and descending upon it. Lastly, 
Jacob himself understanding what the vision meant, set Gen. 28, 
up a stone, and poured oil upon it. When he anointed the ' 2> 
stone, did he make an idol ? No : he only set up a 
symbol, not an object of worship. Thou seest here the 
anointing ; see the Anointed also. He is the stone which 
the builders refused. If Jacob, who was named Israel, saw 
the ladder, and Nathanael was an Israelite indeed, there was 


a fitness in our Lord telling him Jacob's dream ; as if he 

said, Whose name thou art called by, his dream hath 

appeared unto thee : for thou shalt see the heaven open, and 

the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of 

man. If they descend upon Him, and ascend to Him, 

then He is both up above and here below at the same 

Aug. time; above in Himself, below in His members. AUG. 

i/Joan Good preachers, however, who preach Christ, are as angels 

c. 23. of God; i. e. they ascend and descend upon the Son of 

2 Cor. man ; as Paul, who ascended to the third heaven, and 

12 2 . . . 

i Cor. descended so far even as to give milk to babes. He saith, 
3 > 2 - We shall see greater things than these : because it is a 
greater thing that our Lord has justified us, whom He hath 
called, than that He saw us lying under the shadow of 
death. For had we remained where He saw us, what profit 
c. 17. would it have been ? It is asked why Nathanael, to whom 
our Lord bears such testimony, is not found among the 
twelve Apostles. We may believe, however, that it was 
because he was so learned, and versed in the law, that our 
Lord had not put him among the disciples. He chose the 
foolish, to confound the world. Intending to break the neck 
of the proud, He sought not to gain the fisherman through 
the orator, but by the fisherman the emperor. The great 
Cyprian was an orator; but Peter was a fisherman before 
him ; and through him not only the orator, but the emperor, 


1. And the third day there was a marriage in Cana 
of Galilee ; and the mother of Jesus was there : 

2. And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to 
the marriage. 

3. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus 
saith unto him, They have no wine. 

4. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do 
with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 

CHRYS. Our Lord being known in Galilee, they invite Chrys. 
Him to a marriage : And the third day there was a marriage ^"^ i 
in Cana of Galilee. ALCUIN. Galilee is a province ; Cana xx.) i. 
a village in it. CHRYS. They invite our Lord to the mar- Chrys. 
riage, not as a great person, but merely as one they knew, ^ m ,' 
one of the many ; for which reason the Evangelist says, 
And the mother of Jesus was there. As they invited the 
mother, so they invited the Son : and therefore, Jesus was 
called, and His disciples to the marriage : and He came, as 
caring more for our good, than His own dignity. He who 
disdained not to take upon Him the form of a servant, dis 
dained not to come to the marriage of servants. AUG. Let Aug. 
the proud man blush to see the humility of God. 

among other things, the Son of the Virgin comes to a mar- Se . rm - 
riage ; He who, when He was with the Father, instituted 
marriage. BEDE. His condescension in coming to the mar- Be de. 
riage, and the miracle He wrought there, are, even consider- Hom. 
ing them in the letter only, a strong confirmation of the after 
faith. Therein too are condemned the errors of Tatian, Marcion, E P a P b - 
and others who detract from the honour of marriage. For 
if the undefined bed, and the marriage celebrated with due 
chastity, partook at all of sin, our Lord would never have 


come to one. Whereas now, conjugal chastity being good, 
the continence of widows better, the perfection of the virgin 
slate best, to sanction all these degrees, but distinguish the 
merit of each, He deigned to be born of the pure womb of 
the Virgin ; was blessed after birth by the prophetic voice of 
the widow Anna; and now invited in manhood to attend the 
celebration of a marriage, honours that also by the presence of 
ug- ... His goodness. AUG. What marvel, if He went to thai house 

1 r. vin. 

c. 4. to a marriage, Who came into this world to a marriage. For 
here He has His spouse whom He redeemed with His own 
blood, to whom He gave the pledge of the Spirit, and whom 
He united to Himself in the womb of the Virgin. For the 
Word is the Bridegroom, and human flesh the bride, and 
both together are one Son of God and Son of man. That 
womb of the Virgin Mary is His chamber, from which he 
Ps.i9,5. went forth as a bridegroom. BEDE. Nor is it without some 
[aloe, mysterious allusion, that the marriage is related as taldng 
place on the third day. The first age of the world, before 
the giving of the Law, was enlightened by the example of the 
Patriarchs ; the second, under the Law, by the writings of 
the Prophets ; the third, under grace, by the preaching of the 
Evangelists, as if by the light of the third day ; for our 
Lord had now appeared in the flesh. The name of the place 
too where the marriage was held, Cana of Galilee, which 
means, desire of migrating, has a typical signification, viz. 
that those are most worthy of Christ, who burn with devotional 
desires, and have known the passage from vice to virtue, 
from earthly to eternal things. The wine was made to fail, 
to give our Lord the opportunity of making better ; that so the 
glory of God in man might be brought out of its hiding place : 
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto 
Chrys. Him, They have no wine. CHRYS. But how came it 
Horn. j n t o Qjg mother's mind to expect so great a thing from her 
Son ? for he had done no miracle as yet : as we read afterwards, 
This beginning of miracles did Jesus, His real nature, 
however, was beginning now to be revealed by John, and 
His own conversations with His disciples; besides that 
His conception, and the circumstances of His birth, had 
from the first given rise to high expectations in her mind: 
Luke 2, as Luke tells us, His mother kept all these sayings in her 


VER. 1 4. ST. JOHN. 81 

heart. Why then did she never ask Him to work a miracle 
before ? Because the time had now come that He should 
be made known. Before He had lived so much like an 
ordinary person, that she had not had the confidence to ask 
Him. But now that she heard that John had borne witness 
to Him, and that He had disciples, she asks Him confidently. 
ALCTJIN. She represents here the Synagogue, which chal 
lenges Christ to perform a miracle. It was customary with 
the Jews to ask for miracles. 

Jesus saith unlo her, Woman, what have I to do with 
thee ? AUG. Some who derogate from the Gospel, and say Aug. 
that Jesus was not born of the Virgin Mary, try to draw an c.^J" 
argument for their error from this place ; for, how, say they, 
could she be His mother to whom He said, What have I to 
do with thee ? Now who is it who gives this account, and 
on whose authority do we believe it ? The Evangelist John. 
But he himself says, The mother of Jesus was there. Why 
should He say it, unless both were true. But did He there 
fore come to the marriage to teach men to despise their 
mother ? CHRYS. That He greatly venerated His mother, we chrys. 
know from St. Luke, who tells us that He was subject unto His Ho . m - 
parents. For where parents throw no obstacle in the way ofxx.) 2.' 
God's commands, it is our duty to be subject to them ; but 
when they demand any thing at an unseasonable time, or cut us 
off from spiritual things, we should not be deceived into com 
pliance. AUG. To mark a distinction between His Godhead Aug. de 

and manhood, that according to His manhood He wasf^ 150 . 1 . 
' . Serm.ii. 

inferior and subject, but according to His Godhead supreme, c. 14. 
He saith, Woman, what have I to do with thee? CHRYS. '' 
And for another reason, viz. to prevent any suspicion attach- Horn, 
ing to His miracles : for these it was proper should be asked XX1 - (&' 
for by those who wanted them, not by His mother. He 
wished to shew them that He would perform all in their 
proper time, not all at once, to prevent confusion ; for He 
saith, Mine hour is not yet come ; i. e. I am not yet known to xxii.(ai. 
the persons present; nay, they know not that the wine hath XX1 *' ' 
failed; let them find out that first; he who perceives not 
his want beforehand, will not perceive when his want is Aug> 
supplied. AUG. Or it was because our Lord as God had not Tr. viii. 

c. 9. et 

a mother, though as man He had, and the miracle He was S eq. 

G sparsim 


about to work was the act of His Divinity, not of human 
infirmity. When therefore His mother demanded a miracle, 
He, as though not acknowledging a human birth, when 
about to perform a divine work, said, Woman, what have 1 
to do with thee ? As if He said, Thou didst not beget that 
in Me, which works the miracle, My Divinity. (She is called 
woman, with reference to the female sex, not to any injury 
of her virginity.) But because thou broughtest forth My 
infirmity, I will acknowledge thee then, when that very in 
firmity shall hang on the cross. And therefore He adds, Mine 
hour is not yet come : as if to say, I will acknowledge thee 
when the infirmity, of which thou art the mother, shall hang 
from the cross. He commended His mother to the disciple, 
when about to die, and to rise again, before her death. But 
note ; just as the Manicheans have found an occasion of error 
and pretext for their faithlessness in our Lord's word, What 
have I to do with thee ? in the same way the astrologers 
support theirs from the words, -Mine hour is not yet come. 
For, say they, if Christ had not been under the power of fate, 
He would never have said this. But let them believe what God 
John says below, / have power to lay it (my life) down, and I 
have power to take it again: and then let them ask, why 
He says, Mine hour is not yet come: nor let them on such a 
ground subject the Creator of heaven to fate; seeing that, 
even were there a fatality in the stars, the Maker of the stars 
could not be under the dominion of the stars. And not 
only had Christ nothing to do with fate, as ye call it ; but 
neither hast thou, or any other man. Wherefore said He 
then, Mine hour is not yet come? Because He had the 
power to die when He pleased, but did not think it expe 
dient yet to exert the power. He was to call the disciples, 
to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven, to do marvellous works, 
to approve His divinity by miracles, His humility by par 
taking of the sufferings of our mortal state. And when He 
hid done all, then the hour was come, not of destiny, but of 
will, not of obligation, but of power. 

5. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever 
he saith unto you, do it. 

6. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, 

VER. 5 11. ST. JOHN. 83 

after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, contain 
ing two or three firkins apiece. 

7. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with 
water. And they filled them up to the brim. 

8. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and 
bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare 

9. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water 
that was made wine, and knew not whence it was : 
(but the servants which drew the water knew;) the 
governor of the feast called the bridegroom, 

10. And saith unto him, Every man at the begin 
ning doth set forth good wine ; and when men have 
well drunk, then that which is worse : but thou hast 
kept the good wine until now. 

11. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana 
of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory ; and his 
disciples believed on him. 

CHRYS. Although He had said, Mine hour is not yet come, Chrys. 
He afterwards did what His mother told Him, in order to I ^ c / i 
shew plainly, that He was not under subjection to the hour, xxi.) l. 
For if He was, how could He have done this miracle before 
the hour appointed for it? In the next place, He 
wished to shew honour to His mother, and make it appear 
that He did not go counter to her eventually. He would 
not put her to shame in the presence of so many ; especially 
as she had sent the servants to Him, that the petition might 
come from a number, and not from herself only; His mother 
saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. 
BEDE; As if she said, Though He appear to refuse, He willBede. in 
do it nevertheless. She knew His pity and mercifulness. 
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the 
manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three 
firkins apiece. Hydriae 1 are vessels to hold water: hy dor i ^; a/ . 
being the Greek for water. ALCUIN. Vessels to hold water 
were there, after the manner of the purifying of Jews. 
Among other traditions of the Pharisees, they observed fre- 



Chrys. quent washings. CHRYS. Palestine being a dry country, 

xxii.(al. with few fountains or wells, they used to fill waterpots with 

xxi ) 2. W ater, to prevent the necessity of going to the river, if they 

were unclean, and to have materials for washing at hand. To 

prevent any unbeliever from suspecting that a very thin wine 

was made by the dregs having been left in the vessels, and 

water poured in upon them, He says expressly, According 

to the manner of the purifying of the Jews : which shews 

Aug. that those vessels were never used to hold wine. AUG. A 

o. 7. " firkin is a certain measure ; as urn, amphora, and the like. 

1 fttr^. Metron is the Greek for measure : whence metretae 1 . Two 

kin''' fir or th ree -> i s n t ^0 be taken to mean some holding two, others 

three, but the same vessels holding two or three. 

Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And 
Chrys. they filled them up to the brim. CHRYS. But why did He 
xxii" 2 no ^ wol 'k the miracle before they had filled the waterpots, 
which would have been much more wonderful ; inasmuch as 
it is one thing to change the quality of some existing 
substance, another to make it that substance out of nothing? 
The latter miracle would be the more wonderful, but the 
former would be the more easy of belief. And this principle 
often acts as a check, to moderate the greatness of our 
Lord's miracles : He wishes to make them more credible, 
therefore He makes them less marvellous ; a refutation this 
of the perverse doctrine of some, that He was a different Being 
from the Maker of the world. For we see He performs 
most of His miracles upon subject-matter already existing, 
whereas were He contrary to the Creator of the world, He 
would not use a material thus alien, to demonstrate His own 
power. He did not draw out the water Himself which He 
made wine, but ordered the servants to do so. This was for 
the sake of having witnesses of the miracle ; And He saith 
unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the 
feast. ALCUIN. The Triclinium is a circle of three couches, 
dine signifying couch : the ancients used to recline upon 
couches. And the Architriclinus is the one at the head of the 
Triclinium, i. e. the chief of the guests. Some say that 
among the Jews, He was a priest, and attended the marriage 
in order to instruct in the duties of the married state. 
Hom! CHRYS. Or thus ; It might be said that the guests were 

xxii. 2. 

VER. 5 11. ST. JOHN. 85 

drunken, and could not, in the confusion of their senses, tell 
whether it were water or wine. But this objection could not 
be brought against the attendants, who must have been sober, 
being occupied wholly in performing the duties of their 
service gracefully and in order. Our Lord therefore bid the 
attendants hear unto the governor of the feast ; who again 
would of course be perfectly sober. He did not say, Give to 
the guests to drink. HILARY ; Water is poured into the Hiiar. 
waterpots; wine is drawn out into the chalices; the senses ^ in e 
of the drawer out agree not with the knowledge of the c - 6 - 
pourer in. The pourer in thinks that water is drawn out ; 
the drawer out thinks that wine was poured in. Wlien the 
ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, 
and knew not whence it was, (but the servants who drew the 
water knew,} the governor of the feast called the bridegroom. 
It was not a mixture, but a creation : the simple nature of 
water vanished, and the flavour of wine was produced; not 
that a weak dilution was obtained, by means of some strong 
infusion, but that which was, was annihilated ; and that 
which was not, came to be. CHRYS. Our Lord wished the Chrys. 
power of His miracles to be seen gradually ; and therefore xx * 2 
He did not reveal what He had done Himself, nor did the 3 - 
ruler of the feast call upon the servants to do so ; (for no 
credit would have been given to such testimony concerning 
a mere man, as our Lord was supposed to be,) but He called 
the bridegroom, who was best able to see what was done. 
Christ moreover did not only make wine, but the best wine. 
And (the ruler of the feast) saith unto him, Every man at 
the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have 
well drunk, then that which is worse ; but thou hast kept 
the good wine until now. The effects of the miracles of 
Christ are more beautiful and better than the productions of 
nature. So then that the water was made wine, the servants 
could testify ; that it was made good wine, the ruler of the 
feast and the bridegroom. It is probable that the bride 
groom made some answer ; but the Evangelist omits it, only 
mentioning what it was necessary for us to know, viz. the 
water being made wine. He adds, Tliis beginning of 
miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee. It was very ne- Horn, 
cessary to work miracles just then, when His devoted xxni * 1 * 


disciples were all collected, and present at the place, 
Horn, attending to what was going on. ID. Should any say that 
xx> there is not sufficient proof of this being the beginning of 
miracles, because it is added, in Cana of Galilee, as if some 
had been preferred elsewhere : we answer, as we did before, 
c. 1. that John says below, That He might be made manifest 
Horn, to Israel, therefore have I come baptizing. Now if He 
txl ' * had performed miracles in the earlier part of His life, the 
Jews would not have wanted another person to point Him 
out. If our Lord in a short time became so distinguished 
for the number of His miracles, that His Name was known 
to every one, would He not have been much more so, had 
He worked miracles from His earliest years ? for the things 
themselves would have been the more extraordinary, being per 
formed by a Child, and in so long a time must have become 
notorious. It was fit and proper however that He should not 
begin to work miracles at so early an age : for men would have 
thought the Incarnation a phantasy, and in the extremity of 
envy would have delivered Him to be crucified before the 
Aug. appointed time. AUG. This miracle of our Lord's, turning 
r ' 1X ' the water into wine, is no miracle to those who know that 
God worked it. For the Same that day made wine in the 
waterpots, Who every year makes wine in the vine : only 
the latter is no longer wonderful, because it happens uni 
formly. And therefore it is that God keeps some extraordinary 
acts in store for certain occasions, to rouse men out of their 
lethargy, and make them worship Him. Thus it follows, 
He manifested forth His glory. ALCUIN. He was the King 
of glory, and changed the elements because He was their 
Chrys. Lord. CnRYS. He manifests His glory, as far as related to 
xxiii. i. His own act ; and if at the time many knew it not, yet was 
it afterwards to be heard and known of all. And His 
disciples believed on Him. It was probable that these 
would believe more readily, and give more attention to what 
Aug. de went on. AUG. If now for the first time they believed on Him, 
Evan' they were not His disciples when they came to the marriage. 
1. ii. c. This however is a form of speech, such as saying that the 


(38.) Apostle Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia; not meaning by 
this that he was an Apostle then. In the same way when 
we hear of Christ's disciples being invited to the marriage, 

VER. 5 11. ST. JOHN. 87 

we should understand not disciples already, but who were to 
be disciples. AUG. But see the mysteries which lie hid in that Aug. 
miracle of our Lord. It was necessary that all things should c r 5 ' x ' 
be fulfilled in Christ which were written of Him : those 
Scriptures were the water. He made the water wine when 
He opened unto them the meaning of these things, and ex 
pounded the Scriptures ; for thus that came to have a taste 
which before had none, and that inebriated, which did not 
inebriate before. BEDE; At the time of our Lord's appearing Bede. in 
in the flesh, the sweet vinous taste of the law had been v- ' 
weakened by the carnal interpretations of the Pharisees. AUG. Aug. 
Now if He ordered the water to be poured out, and then intro- g r ' '*' 
duced the wine from the hidden recesses l of creation, He would l sinihus 
seem to have rejected the Old Testament. But converting, 
as He did, the water into wine, He shewed us that 
the Old Testament was from Himself, for it was by His order 
that the waterpots were filled. But those Scriptures have 
no meaning, if Christ be not understood there. Now we 
know from what time the law dates, viz. from the foundation 
of the world. From that time to this are six ages ; the first, 
reckoning from Adam to Noah ; the second, from Noah to 
Abraham; the third, from Abraham to David; the fourth, from 
David to the carrying away into Babylon ; the fifth, from 
that time to John the Baptist; the sixth, from John the 
Baptist to the end of the world. The six waterpots then 
denote these six ages of prophecy. The prophecies are 
fulfilled ; the waterpols are full. But what is the meaning 
of their holding two or three firkins apiece ? Had He said 
three only, our minds would have run immediately to the 
mystery of the Trinity. Nor perhaps can we reject it, even 
though it is said, two or three : for the Father and the Son 
being named, the Holy Ghost may be understood by con 
sequence ; inasmuch as it is the love between the Father and 
the Son, which is the Holy Ghost. Nor should we pass c 1? 
over another interpretation, which makes the two firkins 
alluded to the two races of men, the Jews and the Greeks ; 
and the three to the three sons of Noah. ALCUIN. The 
servants are the doctors of the New Testament, who interpret 
the holy Scripture to others spiritually ; the ruler of the 
feast is some lawyer, as Nicodemus, Gamaliel, or Saul. 


When to the former then is committed the word of the 

Gospel, hid under the letter of the law, it is the water made 

wine, being set before the ruler of the feast. And the three 

1 Tricli- rows 1 of guests at table in the house of the marriage are 

three' properly mentioned ; the Church consisting of three orders 

couches, of believers, the married, the continent, and the doctors. 

' Christ has kept the good wine until now, i. e. He has deferred 

the Gospel till this, the sixth age. 

12. After this he went down to Capernaum, he, 
and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples : 
and they continued there not many days. 

13. And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus 
went up to Jerusalem. 

Chrys. CHRYS. Our Lord being about shortly to go up to Jeru- 
xxiii. salem, proceeded to Capernaum, that He might not take His 
mother and brethren every where about with Him: After 
this he went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and 
His brethren, and His disciples, and they continued there not 
Aug. many days. AUG. The Lord our God is He, high, that He 
j^'j" might create us; low, that He might create us anew; walk- 
2. ing among men, suffering what was human, hiding what was 
divine. So He hath a mother, hath brethren, hath disciples: 
whence He hath a mother, thence hath He brethren. Scrip 
ture frequently gives the name of brethren, not to those only 
who are born of the same womb, or the same father, but to 
those of the same generation, cousins by the father's or 
mother's side. Those who are unacquainted with this way of 
speaking, ask, Whence hath our Lord brothers ? Did Mary 
bring forth again ? That could not be : with her commenced 
the dignity of the virgin state. Abraham was uncle of Lot, 
and Jacob was nephew to Laban the Syrian. Yet Abraham 
and Lot are called brethren ; and likewise Jacob and Laban. 
ALCUIN. Our Lord's brethren are the relations of Mary and 
Joseph, not the sons of Maiy and Joseph. For not only the 
demons, blessed Virgin, but Joseph also, the witness of her chastity, ab- 
Ev.c.ii. stained from allconjugalintercourse. AUG. And His disciples; 
(39.) it is uncertain whether Peter and Andrew and the sons of 

VER. 12, 13; ST. JOHN. 89 

Zebedee, were of their number or not at this time. For 
Matthew first relates that our Lord came and dwelt at 
Capernaum, and afterwards that He called those disciples 
from their boats, as they were fishing. Is Matthew perhaps 
supplying what he had omitted ? For without any mention 
that it was at a subsequent time, he says, Jesus walking JyMatt. 4, 
the sea of Galilee saw two brethren. Or is it better to sup 
pose that these were other disciples ? For the writings of 
the Evangelists and Apostles, call not the twelve only, but 
all who believing in God were prepared for the kingdom of 
heaven by our Lord's teaching, disciples". How is it too id. cap. 
that our Lord's journey to Galilee is placed here before John 
the Baptist's imprisonment b , when Matthew says, Now when 
Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed 
into Galilee: and Mark the same? Luke too, though he 
says nothing of John's imprisonment, yet places Christ's 
visit to Galilee after His temptation and baptism , as the 
two former do. We should understand then that the three 
Evangelists are not opposed to John, but pass over our 
Lord's first coming into Galilee after his baptism ; at which 
time it was that He converted the water into wine. EUSEB. Euseb. 
When copies of the three Gospels had come to the Evan- ^ cl> 
gelist John, he is reported, while he confirmed their fidelity iii.c. 24. 
and correctness, to have at the same time noticed some 
omissions, especially at the opening of our Lord's ministry. 
Certain it is that the first three Gospels seem only to contain 
the events of the year in which John the Baptist was im 
prisoned, and put to death. And therefore John, it is said, 
was asked to write down those acts of our Saviour's before 
the apprehension of the Baptist, which the former Evan 
gelists had passed over. Any one then, by attending, will 

This supposition agrees best with was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, 
what follows, which makes out the visit because there was much water there : 
to Galilee, in St. Matthew, St. Mark, and they came and were baptized. For 
and St. Luke, to be the second visit. John was not yet cast into prison." 
For they all mention the calling of the c Comparing Matt. 4, 12. Mark 1, 
Apostles as taking place in this visit; 14. Luke 4, 13. 14. it is evident that 
which calling therefore had not taken the order of events in the three is ex- 
place at the time of this first visit, actly the same; excepting that St. 
which St. John is relating now. And Luke omits the mention of John the 
it is difficult to imagine that in all three Baptist's imprisonment. The visit to 
this mention is parenthetical and out of Galilee in St. Luke is meant to be after 
the order of time. John's imprisonment, though that event 

b John 3, 23. 24. And John also has not been mentioned. 


find that the Gospels do not disagree, but that John is re 
lating the events of a different date, from that which the others 
Chrys. re fer to. CHRYS. He did not perform any miracle at Caper- 

Hom. . .... r i i ' 

xxiii. i. naum, the inhabitants of which city were in a very corrupt 

state, and not well disposed to Him ; He went there however, 

and stayed some time out of respect to His mother* 1 . BEDE ; 

He did not stay many days there, on account of the Passover, 

which was approaching: And the Jews' passover was at 

Orig. hand. ORIGEN; But what need of saying, of the Jews, 

tom.x. w hen no other nation had the rite of the Passover? Perhaps* 

in Joan. 

c. 14. because there are two sorts of Passover, one human, which is 
celebrated in a way very different from the design of Scrip 
ture ; another the true and Divine, which is kept in spirit 
and in truth. To distinguish it then from the Divine, it is 
said, of the Jews. 

ALCUIN. And He went up to Jerusalem. The Gospels 
mention two journeys of our Lord to Jerusalem, one in the 
first year of His preaching, before John was sent to prison, 
which is the journey now spoken of; the other in the year of 
His Passion. Our Lord has set us here an example of careful 
obedience to the Divine commands. For if the Son of God 
fulfilled the injunctions of His own law, by keeping the 
festivals, like the rest, with what holy zeal should we ser- 
Ori vants prepare for and celebrate them ? ORIGEN ; In a mys- 
tom. x. tical sense, it was meet that after the marriage in Cana of 
Galilee, and the banquet and wine, our Lord should take 
His mother, brethren, and disciples to the land of conso 
lation (as Capernaum signifies *) to console, by the fruits that 
were to spring up and by abundance of fields, those who 

d "Whom, St. Chrys. adds, He was why is it, went down, and not went 

about to leave behind when He went to up? Perhaps his ' brethren' are here 

Jerusalem. to be understood of those powers who 

c Origen literally, It is called the went down with Him, not being called 
Jews', as opposed to the Lord's Passover, to the marriage, according to the inter- 
For as the Jews had made His Father's pretation we have mentioned, but re 
house an house of merchandize, notsanc- ceiving lower and inferior benefit from 
tifying it, so had they made the Lord's them ; and of another sort from those 
passover a human, a Jewish passover, called the disciples of Christ. For if His 
choosing that which was low and carnal, mother be invited, there are somebear- 

f Origen literally, that He might ing fruit, whom our Lord Himself 

console His disciples, and the soul that goes down to help with the ministers of 

conceived Him of the Holy Ghost, or the Word, and His disciples; His 

them who were there benefited with mother too accompanying The inter- 

the fruits that were to spring up pretation to which Origen refers it 

in their full [replenished] land. And lost. 

VER. 14 17. ST. JOHN. 01 

received His discipline, and the mind which had conceived 
Him by the Holy Ghost ; and who were there to be holpen. 
For some there are bearing fruit, to whom our Lord Himself 
comes down with the ministers of His word and disciples, 
helping such, His mother being present. Those however 
who are called to Capernaum, do not seem capable of His 
presence long : that is, a land which admitteth lower conso 
lation, is not able to take in the enlightenment, from many 
doctrines ; being capable to receive few only. ALCDIN. Or 
Capernaum, we may interpret " a most beautiful village," and 
so it signifies the world, to which the Word of the Father came 
down. BEDK; But He continued there only a few days, 
because he lived with men in this world only a short time. 
ORIGEN; Jerusalem, as our Saviour Himself saith, is the city Orig. 
of the great King, into which none of those who remain on*". 
earth ascend, or enter. Only the soul which has a certain c. 16. 
natural loftiness, and clear insight into things invisible, is the 
inhabitant of that city. Jesus alone goes up thither 8 . But His 
disciples seem to have been present afterwards. The zeal of 
Thine house hath eaten me up. But it is as though in every 
one of the disciples who went up, it was Jesus who went up. 

14. And found in the temple those that sold oxen 
and sheep and doves, and the changers of money 
sitting : 

15. And when he had made a scourge of small 
cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the 
sheep, and the oxen ; and poured out the changers' 
money, and overthrew the tables ; 

16. And said unto them that sold doves, Take these 
things hence ; make not my Father's house an house 
of merchandise. 

17. And his disciples remembered that it was 
written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. 

BEDE; Our Lord on coming to Jerusalem, immediately 

8 He, and His mother, and disciples, went down to Capernaum. Here Jesus 
went to the marriage : He, and His alone is mentioned. Orig. in loc. 
mother, and brethren, and disciples, 


entered the temple to pray; giving us an example that, 
Mat.2l. wheresoever we go, our first visit should be to the house of 
God to pray. And He found in the temple those that sold 
oxen, and sheep, and doves, and the changers of money 
Aug. sifting. AUG. Such sacrifices were prescribed to the people, 
c . 4. in condescension to their carnal minds ; to prevent them 
from turning aside to idols. They sacrificed sheep, and 
oxen, and doves. BEDE; Those however, who came from a 
distance, being unable to bring with them the animals re 
quired for sacrifice, brought the money instead. For their 
convenience the Scribes and Pharisees ordered animals to be 
sold in the temple, in order that, when the people had bought 
and offered them afterwards, they might sell them again, 
and thus make great profits. And changers of money sitting ; 
changers of money sat at the table to supply change to 
buyers and sellers. But our Lord disapproving of any 
worldly business in His house, especially one of so question- 
Aug. able a kind, drove out all engaged in it. AUG. He who was 
c r g x ' to be scourged by them, was first of all the scourger ; And 
when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them 
all out of the temple. THEOPHYL. Nor did He cast out only 
those who bought and sold, but their goods also : The sheep, 
and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money, and 
overthrew the tables, i. e. of the money changers, which were 
Orig. coffers of pence. ORIGEN ; Should it appear something out 
i n'j'oan. of the order of things, that the Son of God should make a 
c. 16. scourge of small cords, to drive them out of the temple ? We 
have one answer in which some take refuge, viz. the divine 
power of Jesus, Who, when He pleased, could extinguish the 
wrath of His enemies however innumerable) and quiet the 
Ps. 32, tumult of their minds : The Lord bringeth the counsel of the 

OO 1 C\ 

' heathen to nought. This act indeed exhibits no less power, 

than His more positive miracles; nay rather, more than the 

miracle by which water was converted into wine: in that 

there the subject-matter was inanimate, here, the minds of so 

Aug. many thousands of men are overcome. AUG. It is evident 

E^.iTiiithat this was done on two several occasions; the first 

c. 67. mentioned by John, the last by the other three. ORIGEN ; 

tomf x. John says here that He drove out the sellers from the temple ; 

m Joan. ]\| a tthew, the sellers and buyers. The number of buyers was 

VER. 14 17. ST. JOHN. 93 

much greatertban of the sellers : and therefore to drivethem out 
was beyond the power of the carpenter's Son, as He was 
supposed to be, had He not by His divine power put all 
things under Him, as it is said. BEDE ; The Evangelist sets 
before us both natures of Christ : the human in that His 
mother accompanied Him to Capernaum ; the divine, in that 
He said, Make not My Fathers house an house of merchan 
dize. CHRYS. Lo, He speaks of God as His Father, and they Chrys. 
are not angry, for they think He means it in a common xx i' in 
sense. But afterwards when He spoke more openly, and Joan - 
shewed that He meant equality, they were enraged. In 
Matthew's account too, on driving them out, He says, Ye have c - * 
made it (My Father's house] a den of thieves. This was justxxii. 13. 
before His Passion, and therefore He uses severer language. 
But the former being at the beginning of His miracles, His 
answer is milder and more indulgent. AUG. So that temple Aug. 
was still a figure only, and our Lord cast out of it all who j n r j^ n 
came to it as a market. And what did they sell ? Things c. 4. 
that were necessary for the sacrifice of that time. What if 
He had found men drunken ? If the house of God ought 
not to be a house of merchandize, ought it to be a house of 
drunkenness ? CHRYS. But why did Christ use such violence ? Chrys. 
He was about to heal on the Sabbath day, and to do many ^^' 2 
things which appeared to them transgressions of the Law. 
That He might not appear therefore to be acting contrary to 
God, He did this at His own peril ; and thus gave them to 
understand, that He who exposed Himself to such peril to 
defend the decency of the house, did not despise the Lord of 
that house. For the same reason, to shew His agreement 
with God, He said not, the Holy house, but, My Father's 
house. It follows, And His disciples remembered what was 
written ; The xeal of thine house hath eaten me up. BEDE ; i n loc. 
His disciples seeing this most fervent zeal in Him, remem 
bered that it was from zeal for His Father's house that our 
Saviour drove the ungodly from the temple. ALCUIN. Zeal, 
taken in a good sense, is a certain fervour of the Spirit, by 
which the mind, all human fears forgotten, is stirred up to the 
defence of the truth. AUG. He then is eaten up with zeal Aug. 
for God's house, who desires to correct all that he sces^*' 
wrong there ; and, if he cannot correct, endures and 


mourns. In thine house thou busiest thyself to prevent 
matters going wrong ; in the house of God, where salvation 
is offered, oughtest thou to be indifferent ? Hast thou a 
friend ? admonish him gently ; a wife ? coerce her severely ; 
a maid-servant ? even compel her with stripes. Do what 
thou art able, according to thy station. ALCUIN. To take 
the passage mystically, God enters His Church spiritually 
every day, and marks each one's behaviour there. Let us be 
careful then, when we are in God's Church, that we indulge 
not in stories, or jokes, or hatreds, or lusts, lest on a sudden 
He come and scourge us, and drive us out of His Church. 
Orig. ORIGEN ; It is possible even for the dweller in Jerusalem to 
inJoan i ncur g u ^t> an d even tne most richly endowed may stray. 
c. 16. And unless these repent speedily, they lose the capacity 
wherewith they were endued. He finds them in the temple, 
i. e. in sacred places, or in the office of enunciating the 
Church's tniths, some who make His Father's house an 
house of merchandize ; i. e. who expose to sale the oxen 
whom they ought to reserve for the plough, lest by turning 
back they should become unfit for the kingdom of God: 
also who prefer the unrighteous mammon to the sheep, from 
which they have the material of ornament ; also who for 
miserable gain abandon the watchful care of them who are 
called metaphorically doves, without all gall or bitterness 11 . 
Our Saviour finding these in the holy house, maketh a scourge 
of small cords, and driveth them out, together with the sheep 
and oxen exposed for sale, scatters the heaps of money, 
as unbeseeming in the house of God, and overthrows the 
tables set up in the minds of the covetous, forbidding them 
to sell doves in the house of God any longer. I think too 
that He meant the above, as a mystical intimation that 
whatsoever 1 was to be performed with regard to that sacred 
oblation by the priests, was not to be performed after the 
manner of material oblations, and that the law was not to be 
observed as the carnal Jews wished. For our Lord, by 
driving away the sheep and oxen, and ordering away the doves, 

h Solertiam columbarum privata qui- xo<rnTt which applies to the dove, 
libet amaritudine vilipendent. The text ' Orig. literally, " that the Divine 

is not grammatically correct, but soler- service relating to that temple was no 

tiam is plainly the reading of icr^tiX/, longer to be performed," <fec. 
and privata (fee. of Irrifnftbtv *ar*t < 

VKR. 14 17. ST. JOHN. 95 

which were the most common offerings among the Jews, and 
by overthrowing the tables of material coins, which in a 
figure only, not in truth, bore the Divine stamp, (i. e. what ac 
cording to the letter of the law seemed good,) and when with His 
own hand He scourged the people, He as much as declared that 
the dispensation was to be broken up and destroyed, and the 
kingdom translated to the believing from among the Gentiles. 
AUG. Or, those who sell in the Church, are those who seek Aug. 
their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. They who will c r g X * 
not be bought, think they may sell earthly things. Thus 
Simon wished to buy the Spirit, that he might sell Him : 
for he was one of those who sell doves. (The Holy Spirit 
appeared in the form of a dove.) The dove however is not 
sold, but is given of free grace 1 ; for it is called grace. BEDE ; l gratis 
They then are the sellers of doves, who, after receiving thej n i oc * 
free grace of the Holy Spirit, do not dispense it freely 2 , as gratis 
they are commanded, but at a price : who confer the laying 
on of hands, by which the Holy Spirit is received, if not for 
money, at least for the sake of getting favour with the people, 
who bestow Holy Orders not according to merit, but favour. 
AUG. By the oxen may be understood the Apostles and Aug. 
Prophets, who have dispensed to us the holy Scriptures. Tr ; x ' 
Those who by these very Scriptures deceive the people, 
from w r hom they seek honour, sell the oxen ; and they sell 
the sheep too, i. e. the people themselves; and to whom do 
they sell them, but to the devil ? For that which is cut off 
from the one Church, who taketh away, except the roaring i p e t. 
lion, who goeth about every where, and seeketh whom he may 5 ' 8> 
devour ? BEDE ; Or, the sheep are works of purity and Bede. 
piety, and they sell the sheep, who do works of piety to gain 10 loc * 
the praise of men. They exchange money in the temple, 
who, in the Church, openly devote themselves to secular 
business. And besides those who seek for money, or praise, 
or honour from Holy Orders, those too make the Lord's 
house a house of merchandize, who do not employ the rank, 
or spiritual grace, which they have received in the Church at 
the Lord's hands, with singleness of mind, but with an eye 
to human recompense. AUG. Our Lord intended a meaning Aug. 
to be seen in His making a scourge of small cords, and then c r 5 T " 
scourging those who were carrying on the merchandize in 


the temple. Every one by his sins twists for himself a cord, 
in that he goes on adding sin to sin. So then when 
men suffer for their iniquities, let them be sure that it is the 
Lord making a scourge of small cords,'and admonishing them 
to change their lives : which if they fail to do, they will hear 
Mat.23. at t h e lag^ Bind him hand and foot, BEDE ; With a scourge 
in loco, then made of small cords, He cast them out of the temple ; 
for from the part and lot of the saints are cast out all, who, 
thrown externally among the Saints, do good works hypo 
critically, or bad openly. The sheep and the oxen too He 
cast out, to shew that the life and the doctrine of such were 
alike reprobate. And He overthrew the change heaps of the 
money-changers and their tables, as a sign that, at the final 
condemnation of the wicked, He will take away the form 
even of those things which they loved. The sale of doves 
He ordered to be removed out of the temple, because the 
grace of the Spirit, being freely received, should be freely 
Orig. given. ORIGEN; By the temple we may understand too the 
in'joan. 8011 ! wherein the Word of God dwelleth ; in which, before 
c- is. the teaching of Christ, earthly and bestial affections had 
prevailed. The ox being the tiller of the soil, is the symbol 
of earthly affections : the sheep, being the most irrational of 
alt animals, of dull ones ; the dove is the type of light and 
volatile thoughts ; and money, of earthly good things ; which 
money Christ cast out by the Word of His doctrine, that His 
Father's house might be no longer a market. 

18. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, 
What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou 
doest these things ? 

19. Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy 
this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. 

20. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was 
this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in 
three days? 

21. But he spake of the temple of his body. 

22. When therefore he was risen from the dead, 
his disciples remembered that he had said this unto 

VER. 19 22. ST. JOHN. 97 

them : and they believed the Scripture, and the word 
which Jesus had said. 

THEOPHYL. The Jews seeing Jesus thus acting with power, hoc loco. 
and having heard Him say, Make not My Father's house an 
house of merchandize, ask of Him a sign ; Then answered 
the Jews and said unto Him, What sign shewest TJiou unto 
us, seeing that Thou doest these things ? CHRYS. But were Chrys. 

f TT- ! 1 TTT Hom. 

signs necessary for His putting a stop to evil practices : Was xx iii. 2. 
not the having such zeal for the house of God, the greatest 
sign of His virtue ? They did not however remember the 
prophecy, but asked for a sign ; at once irritated at the loss 
of their base gains, and wishing to prevent Him from going 
further. For this dilemma, they thought, would oblige Him 
either to work miracles, or give up His present course. But 
He refuses to give them the sign, as He did on a like 
occasion, when He answers, An evil and adulterous gene- Mat.i2, 


ration seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given 
it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet ; only the answer is 
more open there than here. He however who even anticipated 
men's wishes, and gave signs when He was not asked, would 
not have rejected here a positive request, had He not seen a 
crafty design in it. As it was, Jesus answered and said 
unto them, Destroy t/tis temple, and in three days I will 
raise it up. BEDE ; For inasmuch as they sought a sign 
from our Lord of His right to eject the customary merchan 
dize from the temple, He replied, that that temple signified 
the temple of His Body, in which was no spot of sin ; as if 
He said, As by My power I purify your inanimate temple 
from your merchandize and wickedness; so the temple of 
My Body, of which that is the figure, destroyed by your 
hands, on the third day I will raise again. THEOPHYL. He 
does not however provoke them to commit murder, by saying, 
Destroy ; but only shews that their intentions were not hidden 
from Him. Let the Arians observe how our Lord, as the 
destroyer of death, says, / will raise it up ; that is to say, by 
My own power. AUG. The Father also raised Him up again ; Aug. 
to Whom He says, Raise Thou me up, and I shall reward Joan. 
them. But what did the Father do without the Word? AsS; 11 ' 

A 8. 4 ly 

then the Father raised Him up, so did the Son also : even as 1Q. 


Johnio, He saith below, / and My Father are one. CHRYS. But 
Chrys. wn J does He give them the sign of His resurrection ? Because 
Tract, this was the greatest proof that He was not a mere man ; 

shewing, as it did, that He could triumph over death, and in 
Ori g- a moment overthrow its long tyranny. ORIGEN. Both those, 
in Joan.i- e. both the Body of Jesus and the temple, seem to me to 
c - 20 - be a type of the Church, which with lively stones is built up 

into a spiritual house, into an holy priesthood ; according to 
1 Cor. St. Paul, Ye are the body of Christ, and members in 

12 27 

particular. And though the structure of stones seem to be 
broken up, and all the bones of Christ scattered by adversities 
and tribulations, yet shall the temple be restored, and raised up 
again in three days, and stablishedin the new heaven and the 
new earth. For as that sensible body of Christ was crucified 
and buried, and afterward rose again ; so the whole body of 
Christ's saints was crucified with Christ, (each glorying in 
that cross, by which He Himself too was crucified to the 
world,) and, after being buried with Christ, hath also risen 
with Him, walking in newness of life. Yet have we not 
risen yet in the power of the blessed resurrection, which is 
still going on, and is yet to be completed. Whence it is not 
said, On the third day / will build it up, but, in three days ; 
for the erection is being in process throughout the whole of 
the three days. THEOPHYL. The Jews, supposing that He 
spoke of the material temple, scoffed : Then said the Jews, 
Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt 
Thou rear it up in three days ? ALCUIN. Note, that they 
allude here not to the first temple under Solomon, which was 
finished in seven years, but to the one rebuilt under Zoro- 

Ezra 4, babel. This was forty-six years building, in consequence of 

Q ri the hindrance raised by the enemies of the work. ORIGEN. 

torn. x. Or some will reckon perhaps the forty and six years from the 
time that David consulted Nathan the Prophet on the build 
ing of the temple. David from that time was busy in 
collecting materials. But perhaps the number forty may 
with reference to the four corners of the temple allude to the 
four elements of the world, and the number six, to the creation 

Aug. iv. of man on the sixth day. AUG. Or it may be that this 
n j number fits in with the perfection of the Lord's Body. For 
six times forty-six are two hundred and seventy-six days, 

VER. 19 22. ST. JOHN. 99 

which make up nine months and six days, the time that our 
Lord's Body was forming in the womb ; as we know by 
authoritative traditions handed down from our fathers, and 
preserved by the Church. He was, according to general 
belief, conceived on the eighth of the Kalends of April, the March 
day on which He suffered, and born on the eighth of the 
Kalends of January 1 . The intervening time contains two Bee. 26. 
hundred and seventy-six days, i. e. six multiplied by forty- 
six. AUG. The process of human conception is said to be Aug. b. 
this. The first six days produce a substance like milk, which Q^at' 
in the following nine is converted into blood ; in twelve more 2 - 5 - f - 
is consolidated, in eighteen more is formed into a perfect set 
of limbs, the growth and enlargement of which fills up the 
rest of the time till the birth. For six, and nine, and twelve, 
and eighteen, added together are forty-five, and with the 
addition of one (which ' stands for the summing up, all these l added 
numbers being collected into one) forty-six. This multiplied s.Aug. 
by the number six, which stands at the head of this calcula 
tion a , makes two hundred and seventy-six, i. e. nine months 2 hujus 
and six days. It is no unmeaning information then that the t j on j g " 
temple was forty and six years building ; for the temple pre- ca P ut 
figured His Body, and as many years as the temple was in 
building, so many days was the Lord's Body in forming. 
AUG. Or thus, if you take the four Greek words, anatole, the Aug. 
east ; dysis, the west ; arctos, the north ; and mesembria, the x r . x. 
south ; the first letters of these words make Adam. And our c - 12 - 
Lord says that He will gather together His saints from the 
four winds, when He comes to judgment. Now these letters 
of the word Adam, make up, according to Greek figuring, the 
number of the years during which the temple was building. 
For in Adam we have alpha, one ; delta, four ; alpha again, 
one ; and mi, forty ; making up together forty-six. The 
temple then signifies the body derived from Adam ; which 
body our Lord did not take in its sinful state, but renewed 
it, in that after the Jews had destroyed it, He raised it again 
the third day. The Jews however, being carnal, understood 
carnally ; He spoke spiritually. He tells us, by the Evangelist, 
what temple He means ; But He spake of the temple of His 
Body. THEOPHYL. From this Apollinarius draws an heretical Theoph. 
inference : and attempts to shew that Christ's flesh was fin 



inanimate, because the temple was inanimate. In this way 
you will prove the flesh of Christ to be wood and 
stone, because the temple is composed of these materials. 
John 12, Now if you refuse to allow what is said, Now is My soul 
ib 10 troubled; and, I have power to lay it (My life) down, to be 
18. said of the rational soul, still how will you interpret, Into 
23" 46. Thy hands, O Lord, I commend My spirit ? you cannot 
understand this of an irrational soul : or again, the passage, 
Ps. 16, Thou shall not leave My soul in hell. ORIGEN. Our Lord's 
Body is called the temple, because as the temple contained 

tom. x. ih e glory of God dwelling therein, so the Body of Christ, 
c. 23. which represents the Church, contains the Only -Begotten, 
Chrys. Who is the image and glory of God. CHRYS. Two things 
there were in the mean time very far removed from the 

in Joan, comprehension of the disciples : one, the resurrection of our 
Lord's Body : the other, and the greater mystery, that it was 
God who dwelt in that Body : as our Lord declares by 
saying, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise 
it up. And thus it follows, When therefore He had risen 
from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said 
this unto them : and they believed the Scripture, and the 
word which Jesus had said. ALCUIN. For before the resur 
rection they did not understand the Scriptures, because they 

John 7, had not yet received the Holy Ghost, Who was not yet given, 
because Jesus was not yet glorified. But on the day of the 
resurrection our Lord appeared and opened their meaning to 
His disciples ; that they might understand what was said of 
Him in the Law and the Prophets. And then they believed 
the prediction of the Prophets that Christ would rise the 
third day, and the word which Jesus had spoken to them : 

Orig> Destroy this temple, fyc. ORIGEN. But (in the mystical 

Tr - x - interpretation) we shall attain to the full measure of faith, at 
the great resurrection of the whole body of Jesus, i. e. His 
Church ; inasmuch as the faith which is from sight, is very 
different from that which seeth as through a glass darkly. 

23. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, 
in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they 
saw the miracles which he did. 

VER. 23 25. ST. JOHN. 101 

24. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, 
because he knew all men. 

25. And needed not that any should testify of man : 
for he knew what was in man. 

BEDE. The Evangelist has related above what our Lord Bede. 
did on his way to Jerusalem ; now He relates how others m 
were affected towards Him at Jerusalem ; Now when He was 
in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed 
in His Name, when they saw the miracles which He did. 
ORIGEN. But how was it that many believed on Him from Orig. 
seeing His miracles ? for he seems to have performed no c o* 
supernatural works at Jerusalem, except we suppose Scrip 
ture to have passed them over. May not however the act of 
His making a scourge of small cords, and driving all out of 
the temple, be reckoned a miracle ? CHRYS. Those had been Chrys. 
wiser disciples, however, who were brought to Christ not by ^fr'i 
His miracles, but by His doctrine. For it is the duller sort 
who are attracted by miracles ; the more rational are con 
vinced by prophecy, or doctrine. And therefore it follows, 
But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them. AUG. What Aug. 
meaneth this, Many believed in His Name but Jesus didnot^j^a 
commit Himself unto them ? Was it that they did not believe c - 2 - ? - 
in Him, but only pretended that they did ? In that case the 
Evangelist would not have said, Many believed in His Name. 
Wonderful this, and strange, that men should trust Christ, 
and Christ trusts not Himself to men ; especially considering 
that He was the Son of God, and suffered voluntarily, or else 
need not have suffered at all. Yet such are all catechumens. 
If we say to a catechumen, Believest thou in Christ? he 
answers, I do believe, and crosses himself. If we ask him, 
Dost thou eat the flesh of the Son of man ? he knows not 
what we say", for Jesus has not committed Himself to him. 
ORIGEN. Or, it was those who believed in His Name, not Orig. 
on Him, to whom Jesus would not commit Himself. They j^gf 
believe on Him, who follow the narrow way which leadeth unto 
life ; they believe in His Name, who only believe the miracles. 
CHRYS. Or it means that He did not place confidence in them, Chrys. 


k Catechumens in the early Church not heing taught the mystery of the xxv . j 
Eucharist. Nic. 


as perfect disciples, and did not, as if they were brethren of 

confirmed faith, commit to them all His doctrines, for He 

did not attend to their outward words, but entered into their 

hearts, and well knew how short-lived was their zeal 1 . Became 

He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of 

man, for He knew what was in man. To know what is in 

man's heart, is in the power of God alone, who fashioned 

the heart. He does not want witnesses, to inform Him of 

Au - . that mind, which was of His own fashioning. AUG. The 

c . 2. Maker knew better what was in His own work, than the work 

knew what was in itself. Peter knew not what was in himself 

Luke22, when he said, I will go with Thee unto death ; but our Lord's 


ver. 61. answer shewed that He knew what was in man ; Before the 
cock crow, thou shalt thrice deny Me. BEDE. An admonition 
to us not to be confident of ourselves, but ever anxious and 
mistrustful ; knowing that what escapes our own knowledge, 
cannot escape the eternal Judge. 

1 tibus Triv #/>offxaif* at/rut 61 p't><rn ra, , Aq. tempus opportunum manifesto sciens. 


1. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nico- 
demus, a ruler of the Jews : 

2. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto 
him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come 
from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou 
doest, except God be with him. 

3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, 
I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he can 
not see the kingdom of God. 

AUG. He had said above that, when He was at Jerusalem Au g- 

Tr. xi. 

many believed in His Name, when they saw the miracles 
which He did. Of this number was Nicodemus, of whom 
we are told ; There was a man of the Pharisees, Nicodemus, 
a ruler of the Jews. BEDE. His rank is given, A ruler of 
the Jews ; and then what he did, This man came to Jesus by 
night: hoping, that is, by so secret an interview, to learn 
more of the mysteries of the faith ; the late public miracles 
having given him an elementary knowledge of them. CHRYS. Chrys. 
As yet however he was withheld by Jewish infirmity: and xx ' 1 
therefore he came in the night, being afraid to come in the 
day. Of such the Evangelist speaks elsewhere, Nevertheless, Jolmi2, 
among the chief rulers also many believed on Him; but 
because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they 
should be put out of the synagogue, AUG. Nicodemus was Aug. 
one of the number who believed, but were not as yet born c F g x 
again. Wherefore he came to Jesus by night. Whereas 
those who are born of water and the Holy Ghost, are 
addressed by the Apostle, Ye were sometimes darkness, but$. 
now are ye light in the Lord. HAYMO. Or, well may it 

said that he came in the night, enveloped, as he was, in the in Oct. 



darkness of ignorance, and not yet come to the light, i. e. the 
belief that our Lord was very God. Night in the language 
of Holy Writ is put for ignorance. And said unto him, 
Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God. 
The Hebrew Rabbi, has the meaning of Magister in Latin. 
He calls him, we see, a Master, but not God : he does not 
hint at that ; he believes Him to be sent from God, but does 
Aug. not see that He is God. AUG. What the ground of his 
c/3. XJ belief was, is plain from what immediately follows : For no 
one can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be 
with him. Nicodemus then was one of the many who 
believed in His Name, when they saw the signs that He did. 
Chrys. CHRYS. He did not however conceive any great idea of 
xxiv.2. them from His miracles; and attributed to Him as yet only 
m Joan. a numan character, speaking of Him as a Prophet, sent to 
execute a commission, and standing in need of assistance to 
do His work; whereas the Father had begotten Him perfect, 
selfsufficient, and free from all defect. It being Christ's 
design however for the present not so much to reveal His 
dignity, as to prove that He did nothing contrary to the 
Father; in words He is often humble, while His acts ever 
testify His power. And therefore to Nicodemus on this 
occasion He says nothing expressly to magnify Himself; 
but He imperceptibly corrects his low views of Him, and 
teaches him that He was Himself all-sufficient, and inde 
pendent in His miraculous works. Hence He answers, 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a man be born again, 
Aug.Tr. he cannot see the kingdom of God. AUG. Those then are 
the persons to whom Jesus commits Himself, those born 
again, who come not in the night to Jesus, as Nicodemus did. 
Chrys. Such persons immediately make professsion. CHRYS. He says 
2 t nere fo re > Except a man be born again, he cannot see the 
kingdom of God: as if He said, Thou art not yet born 
again, i. e. of God, by a spiritual begetting ; and therefore 
thy knowledge of Me is not spiritual, but carnal and human. 
But I say unto thee, that neither thou, nor any one, except 
he be born again of God, shall be able to see the glory 
which is around me, but shall be out of the kingdom : for it 
is the begetting by baptism, which enlightens the mind. 
Or the meaning is, Except thou art born from above, and 

VER. 4 8. ST. JOHN. 105 

hast received the certainty of my doctrines, thou wanderest 
out of the way, and art far from the kingdom of heaven. 
By which words our Lord discloses His nature, shewing that 
He is more than what He appears to the outward eye. The 
expression, From above*, means, according to some, from 
heaven, according to others, from the beginning. Had the 
Jews heard it, they would have left Him in scorn ; but Nico- 
demus shews the love of a disciple, by staying to ask more 

4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be 
born when he is old ? can he enter the second time 
into his mother's womb, and be born ? 

5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 

6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that 
which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be 
born again. 

8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou 
nearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it 
cometh, and whither it goeth ; so is every one that is 
born of the Spirit. 

CHRYS. Nicodemus coming to Jesus, as to a man, ischrys. 

xxiv. 3. 

startled on learning greater things than man could utter, Hom - 

things too lofty for him. His mind is darkened, and he 
does not stand firm, but reels like one on the point of falling 
away from the faith. Therefore he objects to the doctrine 
as being impossible, in order to call forth a fuller explana 
tion. Two things there are which astonish him, such a 
birth, and such a kingdom ; neither yet heard of among the 
Jews. First he urges the former difficulty, as being the 
greatest marvel. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a 
man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time 
into his mother's womb, and be born ? BEDE. The question Bede. 

"Desuper Aq. denuo Vulg. see Tr. 67 on Holy Baptism, p. 45 note. 


put thus sounds as if a boy might enter a second time into 
his mother's womb and be born. But Nicodemus, we must 
remember, was an old man, and took his instance from him 
self; as if he said, I am an old man, and seek my salvation; 
how can T enter again into my mother's womb, and be born ? 
Chrys. CHRYS. Thou callest Him Rabbi, and sayest that He comes 
xxiv. 2. from God, and yet receivest not His sayings, but usest to thy 
master a word which brings in endless confusion ; for that 
how, is the enquiry of a man who has no strong belief; and 
many who have so enquired, have fallen from the faith ;^.some 
asking, how God became incarnate? others, how He was 
born b ? Nicodemus here asks from anxiety. But observe 
when a man trusts spiritual things to reasonings of his own, 
Aug. how ridiculously he talks. AUG. It is the Spirit that 
C /6. X1 * speaketh, whereas he understandeth carnally ; he knew of 
no birth save one, that from Adam and Eve ; from God and 
the Church he knows of none. But do thou so understand 
the birth of the Spirit, as Nicodemus did the birth of the 
flesh ; for as the entrance into the womb cannot be repeated, 
Chrys. so neither can baptism. CHRYS. While Nicodemus stumbles, 
Ho . m ' dwelling upon our birth here, Christ reveals more clearlv the 

xxiv. 3. ... . 

manner of our spiritual birth ; Jesus answered, Verily, verily, 
I say unto you, Except a man be bom of water and of the 
Aug. Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. AUG. As 
c/s.*". j, jj e ga -^ -phou understandest me to speak of a carnal 
birth ; but a man must be born of water and of the Spirit, 
if he is to enter into the kingdom of God. If to obtain the 
temporal inheritance of his human father, a man must be 
born of the womb of his mother; to obtain the eternal 
inheritance of his heavenly Father, he must be born of the 
womb of the Church. And since man consists of two parts, 
body and soul, the mode even of this latter birth is twofold ; 
water the visible part cleansing the body ; the Spirit by His 
Chrys. invisible cooperation, changing the invisible soul. CHRYS. 
If an J one as ^ s now a man is born of water, I ask in return, 
how Adam was born from the ground. For as in the 
beginning though the element of earth was the subject-matter, 
the man was the work of the fashioner ; so now too, though 
the element of water is the subject-matter, the whole work is 

b So S. Chrys. and how He remained impassible. Aq. 

VER. 4 8. ST. JOHN. 107 

done by the Spirit of grace. He then gave Paradise for a 
place to dwell in ; now He hath opened heaven to us. But 
what need is there of water, to those who receive the Holy c . 2. 
Ghost ? It carries out the divine symbols of burial, mortifica 
tion, resurrection, and life. For by the immersion of our 
heads in the water, the old man disappears and is buried 
as it were in a sepulchre, whence he ascends a new 
man. Thus shouldest thou learn, that the virtue of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, filleth all 
things. For which reason also Christ lay three days in 
the grave before His resurrection. That then which the Horn. 
womb is to the offspring, water is to the believer; he is xxvl ' ' 
fashioned and formed in the water. But that which is 
fashioned in the womb needeth time; whereas the water 
all is done in an instant. For the nature of the body is such 
as to require time for its completion ; but spiritual creations 
are perfect from the beginning. From the time that our 
Lord ascended out of the Jordan, water produces no longer 
reptiles, i. e. living souls ; but souls rational and endued 
with the Spirit. AUG. Because He does not say, Except Aug. 
a man be born again 1 of water and of the Spirit, he shallop' t 
not have salvation, or eternal life ; but, he shall not enter per. 


into the kingdom of God ; from this, some infer that children 

are to be baptized in order to be with Christ in the kingdom 
of God, where they would not be, were they not baptized ; 
but that they will obtain salvation and eternal life even if 
they die without baptism, not being bound with any chain of 
sin. But why is a man born again, except to be changed 
from his old into a new state ? Or why doth the image of 
God not enter into the kingdom of God, if it be not by 
reason of sin ? HAYMO. But Nicodemus being unable to Haymo. 
take in so great and deep mysteries, our Lord helps him by P ^. 
the analogy of our carnal birth, saying, That which is born Pent. 
of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is 
spirit. For as flesh generates flesh, so also doth spirit 
spirit. CHRYS. Do not look then for any material pro- Chrys. 
duction, or think that the Spirit generates flesh ; for even the X3 ^"i n 
Lord's flesh is generated not by the Spirit only, but also by J an - * 
the flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spiritual. 
The birth here spoken of takes place not according to our 


substance, but according to honour and grace. But the 
birth of the Son of God is otherwise ; for else what would 
He have been more than all who are born again ? And He 
would be proved too inferior to the Spirit, inasmuch as His 
birth would be by the grace of the Spirit. How does this 
differ from the Jewish doctrine ? But mark next the part 

c. 1,13. of the Holy Spirit, in the divine work. For whereas above 
some are said to be born of God, here, we find, the Spirit 
generates them. The wonder of Nicodemus being roused 
again by the words, He who is born of the Spirit is spirit, 
Christ meets him again with an instance from nature ; 
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 
The expression, Marvel not, shews that Nicodemus was 
surprised at His doctrine. He takes for this instance some 
thing, not of the grossness of other bodily things, but still 
removed from the incorporeal nature, the wind ; The wind 
bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, 
but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so 
is every one that is born of the Spirit. That is to say, if no 
one can restrain the wind from going where it will ; much 
less can the laws of nature, whether the condition of our 
natural birth, or any other, restrain the action of the Spirit. 
That He speaks of the wind here is plain, from His saying, 
Thou hearest the sound thereof, i. e. its noise when it strikes 
objects. He would not in talking to an unbeliever and 
ignorant person, so describe the action of the Spirit. He 
says, Bloweth where it listelh'; not meaning any power of 
choice in the wind, but only its natural movements, in their 
uncontrolled power. But canst not tell whence it cometh or 
whither it goeth; i. e. If thou canst not explain the action of 
this wind which comes under the cognizance both of thy 
feeling and hearing, why examine into the operation of the 
Divine Spirit ? He adds, So is every one that is born of the 

Aug. Spirit. AUG. But who of us does not see, for example, that 

Tr - X11- the south wind blows from south to north, another wind from 
c. / 7 

the east, another from the west ? And how then do we not 

c S. Chrys. adds . 2. that the whole borne whither it will, much more shall 

applies a fortiori to the Holy Spirit ; not the laws of nature or the rules of 

"It bloweth where It listeth" is spoken earthly birth, or any thing of this sort, 

also to express the power of the Spirit, hold the might of the Spirit. 
If no one restraineth the wind, but it is 

VER. 9 - 12. ST. JOHN. 109 

know whence the wind cometh, and whither it goeth ? BEDE. Bede. 
It is the Holy Spirit therefore, Who bloweth where He listeth. jj *Jj- 
It is in His own power to choose, whose heart to visit with invent. 
His enlightening grace. And thou hearest the sound thereof. 

When one filled with the Holy Spirit is present with thee 
and speaks to thee. AUG. The Psalm soundeth, the Gospel Aug. 
soundeth, the Divine Word soundeth ; it is the sound of the ^ 5. 
Spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit is invisibly present 
in the Word and Sacrament, to accomplish our birth. ALCUIN. 
Therefore, Thou knowest not whence it cometh, or whither it 
goeth ; for, although the Spirit should possess a person in 
thy presence at a particular time, it could not be seen how 
He entered into him, or how He went away again, because 
He is invisible. HAYMO. Or, Thou canst not tell whence it Haymo. 
cometh; i. e. thou knowest not how He brings believers to? ^. 
the faith ; or whither it goeth, i. e. how He directs the Pent. 
faithful to their hope. And so is every one that is born 
of the Spirit ; as if He said, The Holy Spirit is an invisible 
Spirit ; and in like manner, every one who is born of the 
Spirit is born invisibly. AUG. Or thus : If thou art born of Aug. 
the Spirit, thou wilt be such, that he, who is not yet born of* r g Xn * 
the Spirit, will not know whence thou comest, or whither 
thou goest. For it follows, So is every one that is born of 
the Spirit. THEOPHYL. This completely refutes Macedonius i n i oc . 
the impugner of the Spirit, who asserted that the Holy Ghost 
was a servant. The Holy Ghost, we find, works by His 
own power, where He will, and what He will. 

9. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How 
can these things be? 

10. Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a 
master of Israel, and knowest not these things ? 

11. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that 
we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye re 
ceive not our witness. 

12. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe 
not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly 


HAYMO. Nicodemus cannot take in the mysteries of the 
Divine Majesty, which our Lord reveals, and therefore asks 
how it is, not denying the fact, not meaning any censure, but 
wishing to be informed: Nicodemus answered and said unto 
Chrys. Him, How can these things be? CHRYS. Forasmuch then as 
2. ne ^ill remains a Jew, and, after such clear evidence, persists 

in a low and carnal system, Christ addresses him hence 

forth with greater severity: Jesus answered and said unto 

him, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these 

Tr g xii Mings? AUG. What think we? that our Lord wished to 

0. 6. insult this master in Israel ? He wished him to be born of 

the Spirit: and no one is born of the Spirit except he is 
made humble ; for this very humility it is, which makes us 
to be born of the Spirit. He however was inflated with his 
eminence as a master, and thought himself of importance 
because he was a doctor of the Jews. Our Lord then casts 
down his pride, in order that he may be born of the Spirit. 
Chrys. CHRYS. Nevertheless He does not charge the man with 
xxvi. 2. wickedness, but only with want of wisdom, and enlighten 
ment. But some one will say, What connexion hath this 
birth, of which Christ speaks, with Jewish doctrines? Thus 
much. The first man that was made, the woman that 
was made out of his rib, the barren that bare, the miracles 
which were worked by means of water, I mean, Elijah's 
bringing up the iron from the river, the passage of the 
Red Sea, and Naaman the Syrian's purification in the 
Jordan, were all types and figures of the spiritual birth, 
and of the purification which was to take place thereby. 
Many passages in the Prophets too have a hidden reference 
Ps. 102, to this birth : as that in the Psalms, Making thee young 
PB 31 an( ^ l us ty as an ea 9^ e: an d, Blessed is he whose unrighteous- 

1. ness is forgiven. And again, Isaac was a type of this 
birth. Referring to these passages, our Lord says, Art 
thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things? 
A second time however He condescends to his infirmity, and 
makes use of a common argument to render what He has said 

ver. 11. credible : Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we 
do know, and testify that we have seen, and ye receive not 
our testimony. Sight we consider the most certain of all the 
senses ; so that when we say, we saw such a thing with our 

VER. 9 12. ST. JOHN. Ill 

eyes, we seem to compel men to believe us. In like manner 
Christ, speaking after the manner of men, does not indeed 
say that he has seen actually, i. e. with the bodily eye, the 
mysteries He reveals ; but it is clear that He means it of the 
most certain absolute knowledge. This then, viz. That we 
do know, he asserts of Himself alone. HAYMO. Why, it is Haymp. 
asked, does He speak in the plural number, We speak that QC 
we do know? Because the speaker being the Only-Begotten Pent - 
Son of God, He would shew that the Father was in the Son, 
and the Son in the Father, and the Holy Ghost from both, 
proceeding indivisibly. ALCUIN. Or, the plural number may 
have this meaning; I, and they who are born again of the 
Spirit, alone understand what we speak ; and having seen the 
Father in secret, this we testify openly to the world ; and ye, 
who are carnal and proud, receive not our testimony. THEO- 
PHYL. This is not said of Nicodemus, but of the Jewish race, 
who to the very last persisted in unbelief. CHRYS. They are Chrys. 
words of gentleness, not of anger ; a lesson to us, when we xx ,?' 3 
argue and cannot converse, not by sore and angry words, but 
by the absence of anger and clamour, (for clamour is the 
material of anger,) to prove the soundness of our views. Jesus 
in entering upon high doctrines, ever checks Himself in 
compassion to the weakness of His hearer : and does not 
dwell continuously on the most important truths, but turns 
to others more humble. Whence it follows : If I have told 
you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe 
if I tell you of heavenly things. AUG. That is : If ye do not Aug. 
believe that I can raise up a temple, which you have thrown i n r joan. 
down, how can ye believe that men can be regenerated by the c - ? 
Holy Ghost ? CHRYS. Or thus : Be not surprised at His calling Chrys. 
Baptism earthly. It is performed upon earth, and is com- 
pared with that stupendous birth, which is of the substance 
of the Father, an earthly birth being one of mere grace. 
And well hath He said, not, Ye understand not, but, Ye 
believe not: for when the understanding cannot take in 
certain truths, we attribute it to natural deficiency or 
ignorance: but where that is not received which it belongs 
to faith only to receive, the fault is not deficiency, but un 
belief. These truths, however, were revealed that posterity 


might believe and benefit by them, though the people of that 
age did not. 

13. And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but 
he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man 
which is in heaven. 

Aug. AUG. After taking notice of this lack of knowledge in a 

mer. C et C person, who, on the strength of his magisterial station, set 

remiss, himself above others, and blaming the unbelief of such men, 

' our Lord says, that if such as these do not believe, others 

will: No one hath ascended into heaven, but He that 

came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in 

heaven. This may be rendered: The spiritual birth shall be 

of such sort, as that men from being earthly shall become 

heavenly: which will not be possible, except they are made 

members of Me; so that he who ascends, becomes one with 

Him who descended. Our Lord accounts His body, i. e. 

Greg. His Church, as Himself. GREG. Forasmuch as we are made 

Mor.c.s. one with Him, to the place from which He came alone in 

al. 11. Himself, thither He returns alone in us; and He who is ever 

Aug. in heaven, daily ascendeth to heaven. AUG. Although He 

nt SU P- was made the Son of man upon earth, yet His Divinity with 

which, remaining in heaven, He descended to earth, He hath 

declared not to disagree with the title of Son of man, as 

He hath thought His flesh worthy the name of Son of God. 

For through the Unity of person, by which both substances 

are one Christ, He walked upon earth, being Son of God; 

and remained in heaven, being Son of man. And the belief 

of the greater, involves belief in the less. If then the Divine 

substance, which is so far more removed from us, and could 

for our sake take up the substance of man so as to unite them 

in one person ; how much more easily may we believe, that 

the Saints united with the man Christ, become with Him one 

Christ; so that while it is true of all, that they ascend by 

grace, it is at the same time true, that He alone ascends to 

Chrys. h eave n, Who came down from heaven. CHRYS. Or thus: 


xxvii.i.Nicodemus having said, We know that Thou art a teacher 
sent from God; our Lord says, And no man hath 

VER. 14, 15. ST. JOHN. 113 

ascended, fyc. in that He might not appear to be a teacher 
only like one of the Prophets. THEOPHYL. But when thouinioc. 
hearest that the Son of man came down from heaven, think 
not that His flesh came down from heaven; for this is the 
doctrine of those heretics, who held that Christ took His Body 
from heaven, and only passed through the Virgin. CHRYS. Chrys. 
By the title Son of man here, He does not mean His flesh, 
but Himself altogether; the lesser part of His nature being 
put to express the whole. It is not uncommon with Him to 
name Himself wholly from His humanity, or wholly from His 
divinity.- BEDE; If a man of set purpose descend naked to 
the valley, and there providing himself with clothes and 
armour, ascend the mountain again, he who ascended may 
be said to be the same with him who descended. HILARY ;Hilar. 
Or, His descending from heaven is the source of His origin de T" - 
as conceived by the Spirit: Mary gave not His body its 
origin, though the natural qualities of her sex contributed its 
birth and increase. That He is the Son of man is from the 
birth of the flesh which was conceived in the Virgin. That 
He is in heaven is from the power of His everlasting nature, 
which did not contract the power of the Word of God, which 
is infinite, within the sphere of a finite body. Our Lord 
remaining in the form of a servant, far from the whole 
circle, inner and outer, of heaven and the world, yet 
as Lord of heaven and the world, was not absent there 
from. So then He came down from heaven because He 
was the Son of man ; and He was in heaven, because the 
Word, which was made flesh, had not ceased to be the Word. 
AUG. But thou wonderest that He was at once here, and in Aug. 
heaven. Yet such power hath He given to His disciples. Tr - X11> 
Hear Paul, Our conversation is in heaven. If the man Paul Phii. 3, 
walked upon earth, and had his conversation in heaven; 2 ' 
shall not the God of heaven and earth be able to be in heaven 
and earth ? CHRYS. That too which seemeth very lofty is Cbrys. 
still unworthy of His vastness. For He is not in heaven only, 
but every where, and filleth all things. But for the present 
He accommodates Himself to the weakness of His hearer, that 
by degrees He may convert him. 

14. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the 
wilderness, e\ r en so must the Son of man be lifted up : 



15. That whosoever believeth in him should not 
perish, but have eternal life. 

Chrys. CnRYS. Having made mention of the gift of baptism, He 

xxvii!i.P rocee ds to the source of it, i. e. the cross: And as Moses 

lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son 

of man be lifted up. BEDE; He introduces the teacher of 

the Mosaic law, to the spiritual sense of that law ; by a 

passage from the Old Testament history, which was intended 

Aug. to be a figure of His Passion, and of man's salvation. AUG. 

A ~D 

mer. et Many dying in the wilderness from the attack of the serpents, 

remiss. Moses, by commandment of the Lord, lifted up a brazen 
c.xxxii. ' 

serpent: and those who looked upon it were immediately 

healed. The lifting up of the serpent is the death of Christ; 
the cause, by a certain mode of construction, being put for 
the effect. The serpent was the cause of death, inasmuch 
as he persuaded man into that sin, by which he merited 
death. Our Lord, however, did not transfer sin, i. e. the 
poison of the serpent, to his flesh, but death ; in order that 
in the likeness of sinful flesh, there might be punishment 
without sin, by virtue of which sinful flesh might be delivered 

in loc. both from punishment and from sin. THEOPHYL. See then 
the aptness of the figure. The figure of the serpent has the 
appearance of the beast, but not its poison : in the same 
way Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, being free 
from sin. By Christ's being lifted up, understand His being 
suspended on high, by which suspension He sanctified the 
air, even as He had sanctified the earth by walking upon it. 
Herein too is typified the glory of Christ: for the height of 
the cross was made His glory : for in that He submitted to 
be judged, He judged the prince of this world; for Adam died 
justly, because he sinned; our Lord unjustly, because He did 
no sin. So He overcame him, who delivered Him over to 
death, and thus delivered Adam from death. And in this 
the devil found himself vanquished, that he could not upon 
the cross torment our Lord into hating His murderers: but 
only made Him love and pray for them the more. In this 
way the cross of Christ was made His lifting up, and glory. 

Chrys. CHRYS. Wherefore He does not say, ' The Son of man must 
. 2. he suspended, but lifted up> a more honourable term, but 

VKR. 16 18. ST. JOHN. 115 

coming near the figure. He uses the figure to shew that the 
old dispensation is akin to the new, and to shew on His 
hearers' account that He suffered voluntarily; and that His 
death issued in life. AUG. As then formerly he who looked Aug. 
to the serpent that was lifted up, was healed of its poison, c< J^ 
and saved from death; so now he who is conformed to the 
likeness of Christ's death by faith and the grace of baptism, 
is delivered both from sin by justification, and from death by 
the resurrection : as He Himself saith ; That whosoever 
believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting 
life. What need then is there that the child should be con 
formed by baptism to the death of Christ, if he be not 
altogether tainted by the poisonous bite of the serpent ? 
CHRYS. Observe ; He alludes to the Passion obscurely, in Chrys. 
consideration to His hearer; but the fruit of the Passion Hexx^g. 
unfolds plainly; viz. that they who believe in the Crucified 
One should not perish. And if they who believe in the 
Crucified live, much more shall the Crucified One Himself. 
AUG. But there is this difference between the figure and the Aug. 
reality, that the one recovered from temporal death, the other ^j*"' 
from eternal. 

16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him 
should not perish, but have everlasting life. 

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to 
condemn the world; but that the world through him 
might be saved. 

18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: 
but he that believeth not is condemned already, because 
he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten 
Son of God. 

CHRYS. Having said, Even so must the Son of man be lifted 
up, alluding to His death; lest His hearer should be cast down i ^ u . 
by His words, forming some human notion of Him, and 
thinking of His death as an evil 1 , He corrects this by saying, tion, 
that He who was given up to death was the Son of God, and 
that His death would be the source of life eternal; So 

i 2 


loved iJie world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that 
whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have ever 
lasting life; as if He said, Marvel not that I must be lifted 
up, that you may be saved: for so it seemeth good to the 
Father, who hath so loved you, that He hath given His Son 
to suffer for ungrateful and careless servants. The text, God 
so loved the world, shews intensity of love. For great indeed 
and infinite is the distance between the two. He who is 
without end, or beginning of existence, Infinite Greatness, 
loved those who were of earth and ashes, creatures laden 
with sins innumerable. And the act which springs from the 
love is equally indicative of its vastness. For God gave not 
a servant, or an Angel, or an Archangel, but His Son. Again, 
had He had many sons, and given one, this would have been a 
very great gift; but now He hath given His Only Begotten 
Hilar. Son. HILARY; If it were only a creature given up for the 
Trj n e sake of a creature, such a poor and insignificant loss were no 
c. 40. great evidence of love. They must be precious things which 
prove our love, great things must evidence its greatness. 
God, in love to the world, gave His Son, not an adopted 
Son, but His own, even His Only Begotten. Here is 
proper Sonship, birth, truth: no creation, no adoption, no 
lie: here is the test of love and charity, that God sent His 
n loc. own and only begotten Son to save the world. THEOPHYL. 
As He said above, that the Son of man came down from 
heaven, not meaning that His flesh did come down from 
heaven, on account of the unity of person in Christ, attribut 
ing to man what belonged to God: so now conversely what 
belongs to man, he assigns to God the Word. The Son of God 
was impassible; but being one in respect of person with man, 
who was passible, the Son is said to be given up to death; 
inasmuch as He truly suffered, not in His own nature, but 
in His own flesh. From this death follows an exceeding 
great and incomprehensible benefit: viz. that whosoever 
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
The Old Testament promised to those who obeyed it, length 
of days: the Gospel promises life eternal, and imperishable, 
i E^ BEUE'; Note here, that the same which he before said of the 
Nicolai. g on o f m an, lifted up on the cross, he repeats of the only 
begotten Son of God: viz. That whosoever believeth in 

VKK. 16 18. ST. JOHN. 117 

Him, Sfc. For the same our Maker and Redeemer, who was 
Son of God before the world was, was made at the end of the 
world the Son of man ; so that He who by the power of His 
Godhead had created us to enjoy the happiness of an endless 
life, the same restored us to the life we have lost by taking 
our human frailty upon Him. ALCDIN. Truly through the Son 
of God shall the world have life; for for no other cause came 
He into the world, except to save the world. God sent not 
His Son into the world to condemn the world, but tJtat the 
world through Him might be saved. AUG. For why is He Aug. 
called the Saviour of the world, but because He saves the c . \%* ' 
world? The physician, so far as his will is concerned, heals 
the sick. If the sick despises or will not observe the direc 
tions of the physician, he destroys himself. CHRYS. Because Chry.*. 
however He says this, slothful men in the multitude of their xx v jj 
sins, and excess of carelessness, abuse God's mercy, and say, 
There is no hell, no punishment ; God remits us all our sins. 
But let us remember, that there are two advents of Christ; 
one past, the other to come. The former was, not to judge 
but to pardon us: the latter will be, not to pardon but to 
judge us. It is of the former that He says, I have not come 
to judge the world. Because He is merciful, instead of 
judgment, He grants an internal remission of all sins by 
baptism ; and even after baptism opens to us the door of 
repentance, which had He not done all had been lost; for Rom. 3, 
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. After 
wards, however, there follows something about the punish 
ment of unbelievers, to warn us against flattering ourselves 
that we can sin with impunity. Of the unbeliever He says, 
* he is judged already.' But first He says, He that believeth 
on Him is not judged. He who believeth, He says, not who 
enquires. But what if his life be impure? Paul very strongly 
declares that such are not believers: They confess, he say s, Tit-, i, 
that they know God, but in works deny Him. That is to 
say, Such will not be judged for their belief, but will receive 
a heavy punishment for their works, though unbelief will not 
be charged against them. ALCUIN. He who believes on Him, 
and cleaves to Him as a member to the head, will not be 
condemned. AUG. What didst thou expect Him to say of,^"^.. 
him who believed not, except that he is condemned. Yet c. 12. 


mark His words : He that believeth not in condemned already. 
The Judgment hath not appeared, but it is already given. 
For the Lord knows who are His; who are awaiting the 
Chrys. crown, and who the fire. CHRYS. Or the meaning is, that 
. disbelief itself is the punishment of the impenitent: inasmuch 

as that is to be without light, and to be without light is of 
itself the greatest punishment. Or He is announcing what is 
to be. Though a murderer be not yet sentenced by the 
Judge, still his crime has already condemned him. In like 
manner he who believes not, is dead, even as Adam, on the 
Greg, day that he ate of the tree, died. GREG. Or thus: In the 
MorTc. last judgment some perish without being judged, of whom it 
xxvii. i s here said, He that believeth not is condemned already. 
For the day of judgment does not try those who for unbelief 
are already banished from the sight of a discerning judge, 
are under sentence of damnation; but those, who retaining 
the profession of faith, have no works to shew suitable to that 
profession. For those who have not kept even the sacraments 
of faith, do not even hear the curse of the Judge at the last 
trial. They have already, in the darkness of their unbelief, 
received their sentence, and are not thought worthy of being 
convicted by the rebuke of Him whom they had despised 
Again ; For an earthly sovereign, in the government of his state, 
has a different rule of punishment, in the case of the dis 
affected subject, and the foreign rebel. In the former case, 
he consults the civil law; but against the enemy he proceeds 
at once to war, and repays his malice with the punishment it 
deserves, without regard to law, inasmuch as he who never 
submitted to law, has no claim to suffer by the law. ALCUIN. 
He then gives the reason why he who believeth not is 
condemned, viz. because he believeth not in the name of the 
only begotten Son of God. For in this name alone is there 
salvation. God hath not many sons who can save; He by 
Aug. de w hom H e saves is the Only Begotten. AUG. Where then 
MT.'et do we place baptized children? Amongst those who believe? 
Rem. This is acquired for them by the virtue of the Sacrament, and 
the pledges of the sponsors. And by this same rule we 
reckon those who are not baptized, among those who believe 

VER. 19 21. ST. JOHN. 119 

19. And this is the condemnation, that light is come 
into the world, and men loved darkness rather than 
light, because their deeds were evil. 

20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, 
neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be 

21. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, 
that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are 
wrought in God. 

ALCUIN. Here is the reason why men believed not, and 
why they are justly condemned ; This is the condemnation, 
that light is come into the world. CHRYS. As if He said, So Chrys. 
far from their having sought for it, or laboured to find it, X xviii.2. 
light itself hath come to them, and they have refused to admit 
it ; Men loved darkness rather than light. Thus He leaves 
them no excuse. He came to rescue them from darkness, and 
bring them to light ; who can pity him who does not choose 
to approach the light when it comes unto him ? BEDE ; Bede. 
He calls Himself the light, whereof the Evangelist speaks, in ! oc ' 
That was the true light; whereas sin He calls darkness. 
CHRYS. Then because it seemed incredible that man should Chrys. 
prefer light to darkness, he gives the reason of the infatu- , 
ation, viz. that their deeds were evil. And indeed had He 
come to Judgment, there had been some reason for not receiving 
Him ; for he who is conscious of his crimes, naturally avoids 
the judge. But criminals are glad to meet one who brings 
them pardon. And therefore it might have been expected 
that men conscious of their sins would have gone to meet 
Christ, as many indeed did ; for the publicans and sinners 
came and sat down with Jesus. But the greater part being 
too cowardly to undergo the toils of virtue for righteousness' 
sake, persisted in their wickedness to the last; of whom our 
Lord says, Every one that doeth evil, hateth the light. He 
speaks of those who choose to remain in their wickedness. 
ALCUIN. Every one that doeth evil, hateth the light ; i. e. he 
who is resolved to sin, who delights in sin, hateth the light, 
which detects his sin. AUG. Because they dislike being Aug. 
deceived, and like to deceive, they love light for discovering^ ^ 



herself, and hate her for discovering them. Wherefore it 
shall be their punishment, that she shall manifest them 
against their will, and herself not be manifest unto them. 
They love the brightness of truth, they hate her discrimina 
tion; and therefore it follows, Neither cometh to the light, that 
Chrys. fag d eec i s should be reproved. CHRYS. No one reproves a 
xxvii. 2. Pagan, because his own practice agrees with the character 
of his gods ; his life is in accordance with his doctrines. 
But a Christian who lives in wickedness all must condemn. 
If there are any Gentiles whose life is good, T know them 
not. But are there not Gentiles ? it may be asked. For 
do not tell me of the naturally amiable and honest ; this 
is not virtue. But shew me one who has strong passions, 
and lives with wisdom. You cannot. For if the announce 
ment of a kingdom, and the threats of hell, and other 
inducements, hardly keep men virtuous when they are so, 
such calls will hardly rouse them to the attainment of virtue 
in the first instance. Pagans, if they do produce any thing 
which looks well, do it for vain-glory's sake, and will therefore 
at the same time, if they can escape notice, gratify their evil 
desires as well. And what profit is a man's sobriety and 
decency of conduct, if he is the slave of vain-glory? The 
slave of vain-glory is no less a sinner than a fornicator; nay, 
sins even oftener, and more grievously. However, even 
supposing there are some few Gentiles of good lives, the 
exceptions so rare do not affect my argument. BEDE ; Mo 
rally too they love darkness rather than light, who when their 
preachers tell them their duty, assail them with calumny. 

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that 

his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought 

Chrys. { n God. CHRYS. He does not say this of those who are 

xxviii. brought up under the Gospel, but of those who are converted 

3 * to the true faith from Paganism or Judaism. He shews that 

no one will leave a false religion for the true faith, till he 

Au S- first resolve to follow a right course of life. AUG. He calls 

QG "Pgfjc, 

mer. et the works of him who comes to the light, wrought in God; 
^ emi ^ - meaning that his justification is attributable not to his own 
Aug. merits, but to God's grace. AUG. But if God hath dis- 
13 14. covered all men's works to be evil, how is it that any have 
done the truth, and come to the light, i. e. to Christ ? Now 

VER. 22 26. ST. JOHN. 121 

what He saith is, that they loved darkness rather than light ; 
He lays the stress upon that. Many have loved their sins, 
many have confessed them. God accuseth thy sins ; if thou 
accuse them too, thou art joined to God. Thou must hate 
thine own work, and love the work of God in thee. The 
beginning of good works, is the confession of evil works, 
and then thou doest the truth : not soothing, not flattering 
thyself. And thou art come to the light, because this very 
sin in thee, which displeaseth thee, would not displease thee, 
did not God shine upon thee, and His truth shew it unto 
thee. And let those even who have sinned only by word 
or thought, or who have only exceeded in things allowable, 
do the truth, by making confession, and come to the light 
by performing good works. For little sins, if suffered to 
accumulate, become mortal. Little drops swell the river: 
little grains of sand become an heap, which presses and 
weighs down. The sea coming in by little and little, unless 
it be pumped out, sinks the vessel. And what is to pump 
out, but by good works, mourning, fasting, giving and 
forgiving, to provide against our sins overwhelming us? 

22. After these things came Jesus and his disciples 
into the land of Juda?a; and there he tarried with them, 
and baptized. 

23. And John also was baptizing in ^Enon near to 
Salim, because there was much water there : and they 
came, and were baptized. 

24. For John was not yet cast into prison. 

25. Then there arose a question between some 
of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. 

26. And they came unto John, and said unto him, 
Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom 
thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and 
all men come to him. 

CHRYS. Nothing is more open than truth, nothing bolder; chrys. 

xxix. 1. 

. ^ _ 

it neither seeks concealment, or avoids danger, or fears the Homi 

snare, or cares for popularity. It is subject to no human 
weakness. Our Lord went up to Jerusalem at the feasts, not 


from ostentation or love of honour, but to teach the people 
His doctrines, and shew miracles of mercy. After the 
festival He visited the crowds who were collected at the 
Jordan. After these things came Jesus and His disciples 
into the land of Judcea ; and there he tarried with them, and 
baptized. BEDE; After these things, is not immediately 
after His dispute with Nicodemus, which took place at 
Jerusalem ; but on His return to Jerusalem after some time 
spent in Galilee. ALCUIN. By Judaea are meant those who 
confess, whom Christ visits ; for wherever there is confession 
of sins, or the praise of God, thither cometh Christ and His 
disciples, i. e. His doctrine and enlightenment ; and there 
He is known by His cleansing men from sin : And there He 
Chrys. tarried with them, and baptized, CHRYS. As the Evangelist 
1. says afterwards, that Jesus baptized not but His disciples, 
it is evident that he means the same here, i. e. that the 
... disciples only baptized. AUG. Our Lord did not baptize 
c.4. 1 with the baptism wherewith He had been baptized ; for He 
was baptized by a servant, as a lesson of humility to us, and 
in order to bring us to the Lord's baptism, i. e. His own ; 
for Jesus baptized, as the Lord, the Son of God. BEDE ; 
John still continues baptizing, though Christ has begun j 
for the shadow remains still, nor must the forerunner cease, 
till the truth is manifested. And John also was baptizing in 
JEnon, near to Salim. JEnon is Hebrew for water ; so that 
the Evangelist gives, as it were, the derivation of the name, 
when he adds, For there was much water there. Salim is a 
town on the Jordan, where Melchisedec once reigned. 
Hierom. JEROME ; It matters not whether it is called Salem, or 
M^ad Salim ; since the Jews very rarely use vowels in the middle 
Evag. o f words ; and the same words are pronounced with different 
vowels and accents, by different readers, and in different 

And they came, and were baptized. BEDE; The same 
kind of benefit which catechumens receive from instruction 
before they are baptized, the same did John's baptism 
convey before Christ's. As John preached repentance, 
announced Christ's baptism, and drew all men to the 
knowledge of the truth now made manifest to the world : 
so the ministers of the Church first instruct those who come 

VER. 22 26. ST. JOHN. 123 

to the faith, then reprove their sins; and lastly, drawing them 
to the knowledge and love of the truth, offer them remission 
by Christ's baptism. CHRYS. Notwithstanding the disciples Chrjs. 
of Jesus baptized, John did not leave off till his imprison- xx 'i. 
ment ; as the Evangelist's language intimates, For John was 
not yet cast into prison. BEDE ; He evidently here is 
relating what Christ did before John's imprisonment ; a 
part which has been passed over by the rest, who commence 
after John's imprisonment. AUG. But why did John baptize? Au -... 
Because it was necessary that our Lord should be baptized. c> <j. 
And why was it necessary that our Lord should be baptized ? 
That no one might ever think himself at liberty to despise 
baptism. CHRYS. But why did he go on baptizing now ? Chrys. 
Because, had he left off, it might have been attributed to xx | 
envy or anger : whereas, continuing to baptize, he got no 
glory for himself, but sent hearers to Christ. And he was 
better able to do this service, than were Christ's own 
disciples ; his testimony being so free from suspicion, and 
his reputation with the people so much higher than theirs. 
He therefore continued to baptize, that he might not in 
crease the envy felt by his disciples against our Lord's 
baptism. Indeed, the reason, I think, why John's death was 
permitted, and, in his room, Christ made the great preacher, 
was, that the people might transfer their affections wholly 
to Christ, and no longer be divided between the two. For 
the disciples of John did become so envious of Christ's 
disciples, and even of Christ Himself, that when they saw 
the latter baptizing, they threw contempt upon their bap 
tism, as being inferior to that of John's ; And there arose 
a question from some of John's disciples with the Jews 
about purifying. That it was they who began the dispute, 
and not the Jews, the Evangelist implies by saying, that 
there arose a question from John's disciples, whereas he 
might have said, The Jews put forth a question. AUG. The Aug. 
Jews then asserted Christ to be the greater person, and His J r g xm> 
baptism necessary to be received. But John's disciples did 
not understand so much, and defended John's baptism. 
At last they come to John, to solve the question : And they 
came unto John., and said unto him, Rabbi, He that was with 
thee beyond Jordan, behold, the Same baplizcth. CHRYS. ^ b r Sl 

xxix. 2. 


Meaning, He, Whom thou baptizedst, baptizeth. The}' did 
not say expressly, Whom thou baptizedst, for they did not 
wish to be reminded of the voice from heaven, but, He Who 
was with thee, i. e. Who was in the situation of a disciple, who 
was nothing more than any of us, He now separateth Himself 
from thee, and baptizeth. They add, To Whom thou barest 
witness; as if to say, Whom thou shewedst to the world, 
Whom thou madest renowned, He now dares to do as thou 
dost. Behold, the Same baptizeth. And in addition to this, 
they urge the probability that John's doctrines would fall 
into discredit. All men come to Him. ALCUIN. Meaning, 
Passing by thee, all men run to the baptism of Him Whom 
thou baptizedst. 

27. John answered and said, A man can receive 
nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 

28. Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I 
am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. 

29. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom; 
but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth 
and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the 
bridegroom's voice : this my joy therefore is ful 

30. He must increase, but I must decrease. 

Chrys. CHRIS. John, on this question being raised, does not 
2 re buke his disciples, for fear they might separate, and turn 
to some other school, but replies gently, John answered and 
said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from 
heaven ; as if he said, No wonder that Christ does such 
excellent works, and that all men come to Him; when He 
Who doeth it all is God. Human efforts are easily seen 
through, are feeble, and short-lived. These are not such : 
they are not therefore of human, but of divine originating. 
He seems however to speak somewhat humbly k of Christ, 
which will not surprise us, when we consider that it was not 
fitting to tell the whole truth, to minds prepossessed with such 
a passion as envy. He only tries for the present to alarm 

k Referring to, " A man can receive nothing," &c. ver. 27. 

VER. -27 30. ST. JOHN. 125 

them, by shewing that they are attempting impossible things, 
and fighting against God. AUG. Or perhaps John is speaking Aug. 
here of himself: I am a mere man, and have received all c r ^ xl 
from heaven, and therefore think not that, because it has 
been given me to be somewhat, I am so foolish as to speak 
against the truth. CHRYS. And see; the very argument Chrys. 
by which they thought to have overthrown Christ, To whom^' 2 
thou barest witness, he turns against them; Ye yourselves 
bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ ; as if he 
said, If ye think my witness true, ye must acknowledge Him 
more worthy of honour than myself. He adds, But that I 
was sent before Him ; that is to say, I am a servant, and 
perform the commission of the Father which sent me ; my 
witness is not from favour or partiality ; I say that which was 
given me to say. BEDE ; Who art thou then, since thou art* 
not the Christ, and who is He to Whom thou bearest wit 
ness ? John replies, He is the Bridegroom ; I am the friend 
of the Bridegroom, sent to prepare the Bride for His approach: 
He that hath the Bride, is the Bridegroom. By the Bride 
he means the Church, gathered from amongst all nations; a 
Virgin in purity of heart, in perfection of love, in the bond 
of peace, in chastity of mind and body ; in the unity of the 
Catholic faith ; for in vain is she a virgin in body, who con- 
tinueth not a virgin in mind. This Bride hath Christ joined 
unto Himself in marriage, and redeemed with the price of 
His own Blood. THEOPHYL. Christ is the spouse of every 
soul ; the wedlock, wherein they are joined, is baptism ; the 
place of that wedlock is the Church ; the pledge of it, re 
mission of sins, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost ; the 
consummation, eternal life ; which those who are worthy 
shall receive. Christ alone is the Bridegroom : all other 
teachers are but the friends of the Bridegroom, as was the 
forerunner. The Lord is the giver of good ; the rest are the 
despisers of His gifts. BEDE ; His Bride therefore our Lord 
committed to His friend, i. e. the order of preachers, who 
should be jealous of her, not for themselves, but for Christ ; 
The friend of the Bridegroom which standeth and heareth 
Him, rej'oiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice, 
AUG. As if He said, She is not My spouse. But dost thou Aug. 
therefore not rejoice in the marriage? Yea, I rejoice, he'* 1 "'* 1 "' 


Chrys. saith, because I am the friend of the Bridegroom. CHRYS. 

xxvHi.2. But h w doth h e w h sa id above, Whose shoe's latchet I 
am not worthy to unloose, call himself a friend ? As an ex 
pression not of equality, but of excess of joy : (for the friend 
of the Bridegroom is always more rejoiced than the servant,) 
and also, as a condescension to the weakness of his disciples, 
who thought that he was pained at Christ's ascendancy. 
For he hereby assures them, that so far from being pained, 
he was right glad that the Bride recognised her Spouse. 

Au g... AUG. But wherefore doth he stand? Because he falleth 
'"' not, by reason of his humility. A sure ground this to stand 
upon, Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 
Again ; He standeth, and heareth Him. So then if he falleth, 
he heareth Him not. Therefore the friend of the Bridegroom 
'ought to stand and hear, i. e. to abide in the grace which he 
hath received, and to hear the voice in which he rejoiceth. 
I rejoice not, he saith, because of my own voice, but because 
of the Bridegroom's voice. 1 rejoice ; I in hearing, He in 
speaking ; I am the ear, He the Word. For he who guards 
the bride or wife of his friend, takes care that she love none 
else ; if he wish to be loved himself in the stead of his 
friend, and to enjoy her who was entrusted to him, how 
detestable doth he appear to the whole world ? Yet many 
are the adulterers I see, who would fain possess themselves 
of the spouse who was bought at so great a price, and who 
aim by their words at being loved themselves instead of 

Chrys. the Bridegroom. CHRYS. Or thus; The expression, which 

xxixls standeth, is not without meaning, but indicates that his part 
is now over, and that for the future he must stand and listen. 
This is a transition from the parable to the real subject. For 
having introduced the figure of a bride and bridegroom, he 
shews how the marriage is consummated, viz. by word and 

Bom. doctrine. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the 

10, 17. word of God. And since the things he had hoped for had 
come to pass, he adds, This my Joy therefore is fulfilled ; 
i. e. The work which I had to do is finished, and nothing 
more is left, that I can do. THEOPHYL. For which cause I 
rejoice now, that all men follow Him. For had the bride, i. e. 
the people, not come forth to meet the Bridegroom, then I, 

Tn 8 xiv. as the friend of the Bridegroom, should have grieved. AUG. 

c. 3. 

VEK. 27 30. ST. JOHN. 127 

Or thus; This my Joy is fulfilled, i. e. my joy at hearing the 
Bridegroom's voice. I have my gift ; I claim no more, lest 
I lose that which I have received. He who would rejoice 
in himself, hath sorrow; but he who would rejoice in the 
Lord, shall ever rejoice, because God is everlasting. 
BEDE; He rejoiceth at hearing the Bridegroom's voice, 
who knows that he should not rejoice in his own wisdom, but 
in the wisdom which God giveth him. Whoever in his 
good works seeketh not his own glory, or praise, or earthly 
gain, but hath his affections set on heavenly things; this 
man is the friend of the Bridegroom. CHRYS. He next dis-chrya. 
misses the motions of envy, not only as regards the present, ^-" 3 
but also the future, saying, He must increase, but I must 
decrease: as if he said, My office hath ceased, and is ended; 
but His advanceth. AUG. What meaneth this, He must m-Aug. 
crease ? God neither increases, nor decreases. And John c.^s 
and Jesus, according to the flesh, were of the same age: 
for the six months' difference between them is of no conse 
quence. This is a great mystery. Before our Lord came, men 
gloried in themselves; He came in no man's nature, that 
the glory of man might be diminished, and the glory of God 
exalted. For He came to remit sins upon man's confession : 
a man's confession, a man's humility, is God's pity, God's 
exaltation. This truth Christ and John proved, even by 
their modes of suffering : John was beheaded, Christ was 
lifted up on the cross. Then Christ was born, when the 
days begin to lengthen; John, when they begin to shorten. 
Let God's glory then increase in us, and our own decrease, 
that ours also may increase in God. But it is because thou 
understandest God more and more, that He seemeth to in 
crease in thee : for in His own nature He increaseth not, 
but is ever perfect: even as to a man cured of blindness, 
who beginneth to see a little, and daily seeth more, the light 
seemeth to increase, whereas it is in reality always at the 
fall, whether he seeth it or not. In like manner the inner 
man maketh advancement in God, and it seemeth as if God 
were increasing in Him ; but it is He Himself that decreaseth, 
falling from the height of His own glory, and rising in the 
glory of God. THEomYL. Or thus ; As, on the sun rising, 
the light of the other heavenly bodies seems to be extin- 


guished, though in reality it is only obscured by the greater 
light: thus the forerunner is said to decrease; as if he 
were a star hidden by the sun. Christ increases in propor 
tion as he gradually discloses Himself by miracles ; not in 
the sense of increase, or advancement in virtue, (the opinion 
of Nestorius,) but only as regards the manifestation of His 

31. He that cometh from above is above all: he 
that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the 
earth : he that cometh from heaven is above all. 

32. And what he hath seen and heard, that he 
testifieth ; 

Chrys. CHRYS. As the worm gnaws wood, and rusts iron, so vain- 

xxx. 1. glory destroys the soul that cherishes it. But it is a most 
obstinate fault. John with all his arguments can hardly 
subdue it in his disciples : for after what he has said above, 
he saith yet again, He that cometh from above is above all; 
meaning, Ye extol my testimony, and say that the witness 
is more worthy to be believed, than He to whom he bears 
witness. Know this, that Pie who cometh from heaven, 
cannot be accredited by an earthly witness. He is above all; 
being perfect in Himself, and above comparison. THE- 
OPHYL. Christ cometh from above, as descending from the 
Father; and is above all, as being elected in preference to 
all. ALCUIN. Or, cometh from above ; i. e. from the height 
of that human nature which was before the sin of the first 
man. For it was that human nature which the Word of God 
assumed : He did not take upon Him man's sin, as He did 
his punishment. 

He that is of the earth is of the earth; i. e. is earthly, 

Chrys. an( ^ S p Ca keth of the earth, speaketh earthly things. CHRYS. 

xxx. i. And yet he was not altogether of the earth ; for he had a 
soul, and partook of a spirit, which was not of the earth. 
What means he then by saying that he is of the earth ? 
Only to express his own worthlessness, that he is one born 
on the earth, creeping on the ground, and not to be com 
pared with Christ, Who cometh from above. Speaketh of the 

VER. 81, 32. ST, JOHN. 129 

earth, does not mean that he spoke from his own under 
standing ; but that, in comparison with Christ's doctrine, he 
spoke of the earth : as if he said, My doctrine is mean and 
humble, compared with Christ's ; as becometh an earthly 
teacher, compared with Him, in Whom are hid all theCol.2,3. 
treasures of wisdom and knowledge. AUG. Or, speaketh o/ 

the earth, he saith of the man, i. e. of himself, so far as he c . 6. 
speaks merely humanly. If he says ought divine, he is 
enlightened by God to say it : as saith the Apostle ; Yet not ] Cor - 
I, but the grace of God ichich teas with me. John then, so ' 
far as pertains to John, is of the earth, and speaketh of the 
earth : if ye hear ought divine from him, attribute it to 
the Enlightener, not to him who hath received the light. 
CHRYS. Having corrected the bad feeling of his disciples, Chrys. 
he comes to discourse more deeply upon Christ. Before 
this it would have been useless to reveal the truths which 
could not yet gain a place in their minds. It follows there 
fore, He that cometh from heaven. GLOSS. That is, from 
the Father. He is above all in two ways ; first, in respect of 
His humanity, which was that of man before he sinned : 
secondly, in respect of the loftiness of the Father, to whom 
He is equal. CHRYS. But after this high and solemn men- Chrys. 
tion of Christ, his tone lowers: And what he hath seen 

heard, that he testifieth. As our senses are our surest 
channels of knowledge, and teachers are most depended on 
who have apprehended by sight or hearing what they teach, 
John adds this argument in favour of Christ, that, what he 
hath seen and heard, that he testifieth : meaning that every 
thing which He saith is true. I want, saith John, to hear 
what things He, Who cometh from above, hath seen and 
heard, i. e. what He, and He alone, knows with certainty. 
THEOPHYL. When ye hear then, that Christ speaketh what 
He saw and heard from the Father, do not suppose that He 
needs to be taught by the Father ; but only that that know 
ledge, which He has naturally, is from the Father. For this 
reason He is said to have heard, whatever He knows, from 
the Father. AUG. But what is it, which the Son hath heard Aug. 

from the Father? Hath He heard the word of the Father ? Tr ; xiv 

c. 7. 
Yea, but He is the Word of the Father. When thou con- 

ceivest a word, wherewith to name a thing, the very con* 



ception of that thing in the mind is a word. Just then as 
thou hast in thy mind and with thee thy spoken word ; even 
so God uttered the Word, i. e. begat the Son. Since then the 
Son is the Word of God, and the Son hath spoken the Word 
of God to us, He hath spoken to us the Father's word. 
What John said is therefore true. 

32. and no man receiveth his testimony. 

33. He that hath received his testimony hath set to 
his seal that God is true. 

34. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the 
words of God : for God giveth not the Spirit by mea 
sure unto him. 

35. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all 
things into his hand. 

36. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting 
life : and he that believeth not the Son shall not see 
life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him. 

Chrys. CHRYS. Having said, And what fie hath seen and heard, 
xxx. I. that he testifieth, to prevent any from supposing, that what 
he said was false, because only a few for the present 
believed, he adds, And no man receiveth his testimony ; i. e. 
only a few ; for he had disciples who received his testimony. 
John is alluding to the unbelief of his own disciples, and to 
the insensibility of the Jews, of whom we read in the begin 
ning of the Gospel, He came unto His own, and His own 
Au g-. received Him not. AUG. Or thus; There is a people reserved 
c . s. for the wrath of God, and to be condemned with the devil; 
of whom none receiveth the testimony of Christ. And others 
there are ordained to eternal life. Mark how mankind are 
divided spiritually, though as human beings they are mixed 
up together: and John separated them by the thoughts of 
their heart, though as yet they were not divided in respect of 
place, and looked on them as two classes, the unbelievers, 
and the believers. Looking to the unbelievers, he saith, 
No man receiveth his testimony. Then turning to those on 
the right hand he saith, He that hath received his testimony, 

VER. 32 - 36. ST. JOHN. 131 

hath set to his seal. CHKYS. i. e. hath shewn that God 

true. This is to alarm them : for it is as much as saying, no xxx 2 . 
one can disbelieve Christ without convicting God, Who sent 
Him, of falsehood : inasmuch as He speaks nothing but what 
is of the Father. For He, it follows, Whom God hath sent, 
speaketh the words of God. ALCUIN. Or, Hath put to his 
seal, i. e. hath put a seal on his heart, for a singular and 
special token, that this is the true God, Who suffered for the 
salvation of mankind. AUG. What is it, thai God is true,^s-, 

Ir. xiv. 

except that God is true, and every man a liar r 1 or no man c . 8. 
can say what truth is, till he is enlightened by Him who 
cannot lie. God then is true, and Christ is God. Wouldest 
thou have proof? Hear His testimony, and thou wilt find 
it so. But if thou dost not yet understand God, thou hast 
not yet received His testimony. Christ then Himself is 
God the true, and God hath sent Him ; God hath sent 
God, join both together; they are One God. For John 
saith, Whom God hath sent, to distinguish Christ from 
himself. What then, was not John himself sent by God ? 
Yes ; but mark what follows, For God giveth not the Spirit 
by measure unto Him. To men He giveth by measure, to 
His only Son He giveth not by measure. To one man is 
given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the 
word of knowledge: one has one thing, another another; 
for measure implies a kind of division of gifts. But Christ 
did not receive by measure, though He gave by measure. 
CHRYS. By Spirit here is meant the operation of the Holy Chrys. 
Spirit. He wishes to shew that all of us have received xxx . 2. 
the operation of the Spirit by measure, but that Christ 
contains within Himself the whole operation of the Spirit. 
How then shall He be suspected, Who saith nothing, but 
what is from God, and the Spirit? For He makes no men 
tion yet of God the Word, but rests His doctrine on the 
authority of the Father and the Spirit. For men knew 
that there was God, and knew that there was the Spirit, 
(although they had not right belief about His nature;) 
but that there was the Son they did not know. ACG. Aug. 
Having said of the Son, God giveth not the Spirit by mea-^'^J 
sure unto Him; he adds, The Father loveth the Son, and 
farther adds, and hath given all things into His hand; 

K 2 


in order to shew that the Father loveth the Son, in a pecu 
liar sense. For the Father loveth John, and Paul, and yet 
hath not given all things into their hands. But the Father 
loveth the Son, as the Son, not as a master his servant: 
as an only, not as an adopted, Son. Wherefore He 
hath given all things into His hand ; so that, as great as 
the Father is, so great is the Son; let us not think then 
that, because He hath deigned to send the Son, any one 
inferior to the Father has been sent. THEOPHYL. The 
Father then hath given all things to the Son in respect of 
His divinity; of right, not of grace. Or; He hath given 
all things into His hand, in respect of His humanity : inas 
much as He is made Lord of all things that are in heaven, 
and that are in earth. ALCDIN. And because all things are 
in His hand, the life everlasting is too: and therefore it 
follows, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. 
BEDE. We must understand here not a faith in words only, 
Chrys. but a faith which is developed in works. CHRYS. He means 
xxxi. 1. not here, that to believe on the Son is sufficient to gain 
Matt. 7. everlasting life, for elsewhere He says, Not every one that 
saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. And the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is of 
itself sufficient to send into hell. But we must not think 
that even a right belief on Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is 
sufficient for salvation ; for we have need of a good life 
and conversation. Knowing then that the greater part are 
not moved so much by the promise of good, as by the threat 
of punishment, he concludes, But He that believeth not the 
Son, shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on 
him. See how He refers to the Father again, when He 
speaketh of punishment. He saith not, the wrath of the 
Son, though the Son is judge ; but maketh the Father the 
* judge, in order to alarm men more. And He does not say, 
in Him, but on Him, meaning that it will never depart from 
Him ; and for the same reason He says, shall not see life, 
\. e. to shew that He did not mean only a temporary death. 
Ag-_ AUG. Nor does He say, The wrath of God cometh to him, 
c. is. but, abideth on him. For all who are born, are under the 
wrath of God, which the first Adam incurred. The Son 
of God came without sin, and was clothed with mortality : 

VER. 32 36. ST. JOHN. 133 

He died that thou mightest live. Whosoever then will not 
believe on the Son, on him abideth the wrath of God, of 
which the Apostle speaks, We were by nature the children Eph. 2, 
of wrath* 3 ' 


1. When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees 
had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples 
than John, 

2. (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his 

3. He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. 

4. And he must needs go through Samaria. 

5. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is 
called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob 
gave to his son Joseph. 

6. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, 
being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: 
and it was about the sixth hour. 

1 The Gross. 1 The Evangelist, after relating how John checked 

passage the envy of his disciples, on the success of Christ's teaching, 

is one of comes next to the envy of the Pharisees, and Christ's retreat 

(Nic.) from them. When therefore the Lord knew that the 

Aug. Pharisees had heard, fyc. AUG. Truly had the Pharisees' 

c . r 2. XY< knowledge that our Lord was making more disciples, and 

baptizing more than John, been such as to lead them heartily 

to follow Him, He would not have left Judaea, but would have 

remained for their sake: but seeing, as He did, that this 

knowledge of Him was coupled with envy, and made them 

not followers, but persecutors, He departed thence. He 

could too, had He pleased, have stayed amongst them, and 

escaped their hands; but He wished to shew His own 

example to believers in time to come, that it was no sin for 

a servant of God to fly from the fury of persecutors. He did 

it like a good teacher, not out of fear for Himself, but for our 

Chrys. instruction. CHRYS. He did it too to pacify the envy of 

Horn. men} and perhaps to avoid bringing the dispensation of the 

'incarnation into suspicion. For had he been taken and 


escaped, the reality of His flesh would have been doubted. 
AUG. It may perplex you, perhaps, to be told that Jesus Aug. 
baptized more than John, and then immediately after, Though 0/3." 
Jesus Himself baptized not. What ? Is there a mistake 
made, and then corrected ? CHRYS. Christ Himself did notChrys. 
baptize, but those who reported the fact, in order to raise the xxx ;' i. 
envy of their hearers, so represented it as to appear that 
Christ Himself baptized. The reason why He baptized not non occ. 
Himself, had been already declared by John, He jfto#]& e 
baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Now He 
had not yet given the Holy Spirit : it was therefore fitting 
that He should not baptize. But His disciples baptized, as 
an efficacious mode of instruction ; better than gathering up 
believers here and there, as had been done in the case of 
Simon and his brother. Their baptism, however, had no 
more virtue than the baptism of John ; both being without 
the grace of the Spirit, and both having one object, viz. 
that of bringing men to Christ. AUG. Or, both are true; Aug. 
for Jesus both baptized, and baptized not. He baptized, C . r 3. xv 
in that He cleansed: He baptized not, in that He dipped 
not. The disciples supplied the ministry of the body, He 
the aid of that Majesty of which it was said, The Same tsver. 33. 
He which baptizeth. ALCUIN. The question is often asked, 
whether the Holy Ghost was given by the baptism of the 
disciples; when below it is said, The Holy Ghost was note. 7. 
yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. We reply, 
that the Spirit was given, though not in so manifest a way as 
he was after the Ascension, in the shape of fiery tongues. 
For, as Christ Himself in His human nature ever possessed 
the Spirit, and yet afterwards at His baptism the Spirit 
descended visibly upon Him in the form of a dove ; so before 
the manifest and visible coming of the Holy Spirit, all saints 
might possess the Spirit secretly. AUG. But we must Aug. 
believe that the disciples of Christ were already baptized ]euc j" 
themselves, either with John's baptism, or, as is more Ep.xviii. 
probable, with Christ's. For He who had stooped to the 
humble service of washing His disciples' feet, had not failed 
to administer baptism to His servants, who would thus be 
enabled in their turn to baptize others. CHRYS. Christ on Chrys. 
withdrawing from Juda?a, joined those whom He was w 


before, as we read next, And departed again into Galilee. 
As the Apostles, when they were expelled by the Jews, went 
to the Gentiles, so Christ goes to the Samaritans. But, to 
deprive the Jews of all excuse, He does not go to stay there, 
but only takes it on His road, as the Evangelist implies by 
saying, And he must needs go through Samaria. Samaria re 
ceives its name from Somer, a mountain there, so called from 
the name of a former possessor of it. The inhabitants of the 
country were formerly not Samaritans, but Israelites. But 
in process of time they fell under God's wrath, and the king 
of Assyria transplanted them to Babylon and Media; placing 
Gentiles from various parts in Samaria in their room. God 
however, to shew that it was not for want of power on His 
part that He delivered up the Jews, but for the sins of the 
people themselves, sent lions to afflict the barbarians. This 
was told the king, and he sent a priest to instruct them in 
God's law. But nbt even then did they wholly cease from 
their iniquity, but only half changed. For in process of 
time they turned to idols again, though they still wor 
shipped God, calling themselves after the mountain, 
Samaritans. BEDE. He must needs pass through Samaria ; 
because that country lay between Judea and Galilee. 
Samaria was the principal city of a province of Palestine, and 
gave its name to the whole district connected with it. The 
particular plac'e to which our Lord went is next given : Then 
cometh He to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar. 
Liiij-o. CHRYS. It was the place where Simeon and Levi made a 
^' great slaughter for Dinah. THEOPHYL. But after the sons 
of Jacob had desolated the city, by the slaughter of the 
Sychemites, Jacob annexed it to the portion of his son Joseph, 
Gen. 48, as we read in Genesis, / have given to thee one portion above 
22< thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite 
with my sword^ and with my bow. This is referred to in 
what follows, Near to the place of ground which Jacob gave 
to his son Joseph. 

Aug. Now Jacob's well was there. AUG. It was a well. Every 

Tr. xv. well is a spring, but every spring is not a well. Any water 

that rises from the ground, and can be drawn for use, is a 

spring: but where it is ready at hand, and on the surface, it 

is called a spring only; where it is deep and low down, it is 

VER. 1 6. ST. JOHN. 137 

called a well, not a spring. THEOPHYL. But why does the 
Evangelist make mention of the parcel of ground, and the 
well? First, to explain what the woman says, Our father 
Jacob gave us this well: secondly, to remind you that what 
the Patriarchs obtained by their faith in God, the Jews had lost 
by their impiety. They had been supplanted to make room 
for Gentiles. And therefore there is nothing new in what 
has now taken place, i. e. in the Gentiles succeeding to the 
kingdom of heaven in the place of the Jews. CHRYS. Christ Chrys. 
prefers labour and exercise to ease and luxury, and therefore xx ^' 3< 
travels to Samaria, not in a carriage but on foot; until at 
last the exertion of the journey fatigues Him; a lesson to us, 
that so far from indulging in superfluities, we should often 
even deprive ourselves of necessaries: Jesus therefore being 
wearied with His journey, fyc. AUG. Jesus, we see, is strong Aug. 
and weak: strong, because in the beginning was the Word;^- T '* v > 
weak, because the Word was made flesh. Jesus thus weak, 
being wearied with his journey ', sat on the well. CHRYS. As Chrys. 
if to say, not on a seat, or a couch, but on the first place He saw xx ^3. 
upon the ground. He sat down because He was wearied, and 
to wait for the disciples. The coolness of the well would be 
refreshing in the midday heat: And it was about the sixth 
hour. THEOPHYL. He mentions our Lord's sitting and 
resting from His journey, that none might blame Him for 
going to Samaria Himself, after He had forbidden the 
disciples going. ALCUIN. Our Lord left Judaea also mys 
tically, i. e. He left the unbelief of those who condemned 
Him, and by His Apostles, went into Galilee, i. e. into the 
fickleness" of the world; thus teaching His disciples to pass 
from vices to virtues. The parcel of ground I conceive to 
have been left not so much to Joseph, as to Christ, of whom 
Joseph was a type; whom the sun, and moon, and all the 
stars truly adore. To this parcel of ground our Lord came, 
that the Samaritans, who claimed to be inheritors of the 
Patriarch Israel, might recognise Him, and be converted to 
Christ, the legal heir of the Patriarch. AUG. His journey Aug. 
is His assumption of the flesh for our sake. For whither Tr i xv ' 
doth He go, Who is every where present? What is this, 

The Heb. root signifying to roll, revolve, <fec. as applied to idols, it is a 
term of shame. 


except that it was necessary for Him, in order to come to 
us, to take upon Him visibly a form of flesh ? So then 
His being wearied with His journey, what meaneth it, but 
that He is wearied with the flesh ? And wherefore is it the 
sixth hour? Because it is the sixth age of the world. Reckon 
severally as hours, the first age from Adam to Noah, the 
second from Noah to Abraham, the third from Abraham to 
David, the fourth from David unto the carrying away into 
Babylon, the fifth from thence to the baptism of John; on 
Aug. l. this calculation the present age is the sixth hour. AUG. At 
Qua!st. the sixth hour then our Lord comes to the well. The black 
qu. 64. abyss of the well, methinks, represents the -lowest parts of 
this universe, i. e. the earth, to which Jesus came at the sixth 
hour, that is, in the sixth age of mankind, the old age, as it 
Col. 3,9. were, of the old man, which we are bidden to put off, that we 
may put on the new. For so do we reckon the different ages 
of man's life: the first age is infancy, the second childhood, 
the third boyhood, the fourth youth, the fifth manhood, the 
sixth old age. Again, the sixth hour, being the middle of the 
day, the time at which the sun begins to descend, signifies 
that we, who are called by Christ, are to check our pleasure 
in visible things, that by the love of things invisible refresh 
ing the inner man, we may be restored to the inward light 
which never fails. By His sitting is signified His humility, 
or perhaps His magisterial character; teachers being accus 
tomed to sit. 

7. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water : 
Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 

8. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city 
to buy meat.) 

9. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, 
How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, 
which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no 
dealings with the Samaritans. 

10. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou 
knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to 
thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of 
him, and he would have given thee living water. 

VER. 7 12. ST. JOHN. 139 

11. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast 
nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from 
whence then hast thou that living water? 

12. Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which 
gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his 
children, and his cattle ? 

CHRYS. That this conversation might not appear a violation chrys. 
of His own injunctions against talking to the Samaritans, 
Evangelist explains how it arose; viz. for He did not come 
with the intention beforehand of talking with the woman, but 
only would not send the woman away, when she had come. 
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Observe, 
she comes quite by chance. AUG. The woman here is the Aug. 
type of the Church, not yet justified, but just about to 
And it is a part of the resemblance, that she comes from a 19 
foreign people. The Samaritans were foreigners, though they 
were neighbours; and in like manner the Church was to come 
from the Gentiles, and to be alien from the Jewish race. 
THEOPHYL. The argument with the woman arises naturally 
from the occasion : Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. As 
man, the labour and heat He had undergone had made Him 
thirsty. AUG. Jesus also thirsted after that woman's faith ? Au s-. 1- 
He thirsteth for their faith, for whom He shed His blood. 

CHRYS. This shews us too not only our Lord's strength vj- 64 - 
and endurance as a traveller, but also his carelessness about Hom. 
food; for His disciples did not carry about food with them, XXX1 ' ' 
since it follows, His disciples were gone away into the city 
to buy food. Herein is shewn the humility of Christ; He is 
left alone. It was in His power, had He pleased, not to send 
away all, or, on their going away, to leave others in their place 
to wait on Him. But He did not choose to have it so : for in 
this way He accustomed His disciples to trample upon 
pride of every kind. However some one will say, Is humility 
in fishermen and tent-makers so great a matter? But these 
very men were all on a sudden raised to the most lofty 
situation upon earth, that of friends and followers of the 
Lord of the whole earth. And men of humble origin, when 
they arrive at dignity, are on this very account more liable 


than others to be lifted up with pride; the honour being so 
new to them. Our Lord therefore to keep His disciples 
humble, taught them in all things to subdue themselves. 
The woman on being told, Give Me to drink, very naturally 
asks, How is it that TJiou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, 
who am a woman of Samaria ? She knew Him to be a Jew 
from His figure and speech. Here observe her simpleness. 
For even had our Lord been bound to abstain from dealing 
with her, that was His concern, not hers; the Evangelist 
saying not that the Samaritans would have no dealings with 
the Jews, but that the Jews have no dealings with the 
Samaritans. The woman however, though not in fault her 
self, wished to correct what she thought a fault in another. 
The Jews after their return from the captivity entertained 
a jealousy of the Samaritans, whom they regarded as aliens, 
and enemies; and the Samaritans did not use all the Scrip 
tures, but only the writings of Moses, and made little of the 
Prophets. They claimed to be of Jewish origin, but the Jews 
considered them Gentiles, and hated them, as they did the 

Aug. rest of the Gentile world. AUG. The Jews would not even 

xiif. C use their vessels. So it would astonish the woman to hear 
a Jew ask to drink out of her vessel ; a thing so contrary to 
Jewish rule. CHRYS. But why did Christ ask what the 
law allowed not? It is no answer to say that He knew she 
would not give it, for in that case, He clearly ought not 
to have asked for it. Rather His very reason for asking, 
was to shew His indifference to such observances, and to 

Aug. abolish them for the future. AUG. He who asked to drink, 
however, out of the woman's vessel, thirsted for the woman's 
faith: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest 
the gift of God, or Who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to 
drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have 

Origen. given thee living water. ORIGEN. For it is as it were a doc- 

in'^' trine, that no one receives a divine gift, who seeks not for it. 
Even the Saviour Himself is commanded by the Father to 

Ps. 2, 8. ask, that He may give it Him, as we read, Require of 
Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance. 

Lukell, And our Saviour Himself says, Ask, and it shall be given 
you. Wherefore He says here emphatically, Thou wouldest 
have asked of Him, and He would have given thee. AUG. 


VEB. 7 12. ST. JOHN. 141 

He lets her know that it was not the water, which she meant, Aug. i. 
that He asked for; but that knowing her faith, He wished Q U8est / 
to satisfy her thirst, by giving her the Holy Spirit. For so9 u - 64 - 
must we interpret the living water, which is the gift of God; 
as He saith, Ifthou knewest the gift of God. AUG. Living Aug. 
water is that which comes out of a spring, in distinction to 
what is collected in ponds and cisterns from the rain. If 
spring water too becomes stagnant, i. e. collects into some 
spot, where it is quite separated from its fountain head, it 
ceases to be living water. CHRYS. In Scripture the grace of Chrys. 
the Holy Spirit is sometimes called fire, sometimes water, xxx jj. 
which shews that these words are expressive not of its sub 
stance, but of its action. The metaphor of fire conveys 
the lively and sin-consuming property of grace; that of 
water the cleansing of the Spirit, and the refreshing of 
the souls who receive Him. THEOPHYL. The grace of the 
Holy Spirit then He calls living water; i. e. lifegiving, 
refreshing, stirring. For the grace of the Holy Spirit is 
ever stirring him who does good works, directing the 
risings of his heart. CHRYS. These words raised the woman's Chrys. 
notions of our Lord, and make her think Him no common X xxi! 4. 
person. She addresses Him reverentially by the title of 
Lord; The woman saith unto Him, Lord, Thou hast nothing 
to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast 
Thou that living water? AUG. She understands the living Aug. 
water to be the water in the well; and therefore says, Thou c r i^ v ' 
wishest to give me living water; but Thou hast nothing to 
draw with as I have: Thou canst not then give me this living 
water; Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us 
the icell, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and 
his cattle? CHRYS. As if she said, Thou canst not say that chr y s - 
Jacob gave us this spring, and used another himself; for he xxx i.'4 /i 
and they that were with him drank thereof, which would not 
have been done, had he had another better one. Thou 
canst not, then give me of this spring; and Thou hast not 
another better spring, unless Thou confess Thyself greater 
than Jacob. Whence then hast Thou the water, which Thou 
promisest to give us? THEOPHYL. The addition, and his 
cattle, shews the abundance of the water; as if she said, Not 
only is the water sweet, so that Jacob and his sons drank of it, 


but so abundant, that it satisfied the vast multitude of the 
Chrys. Patriarchs' cattle. CHRYS. See how she thrusts herself upon 
4. the Jewish stock. The Samaritans claimed Abraham as their 

ancestor, on the ground of his having come from Chaldea; 
and called Jacob their father, as being Abraham's grandson. 
BEDE. Or she calls Jacob their father, because she lived 
under the Mosaic law, and possessed the farm which Jacob 
gave to his son Joseph. ORIGEN. In the mystical sense, 
'Jacob's well is the Scriptures. The learned then drink 
like Jacob and his sons; the simple and uneducated, like 
Jacob's cattle. 

13. Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever 
drinketh of this water shall thirst again : 

14. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall 
give him shall never thirst; but the water that I 
shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing 
up into everlasting life. 

15. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this 
water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 

16. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and 
come hither. 

17. The woman answered and said, I have no hus 
band. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I 
have no husband : 

18. For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom 
thou now hast is not thy husband : in that saidst thou 

Chrys. CHRYS. To the woman's question, Art Thou greater than 


Hom- our father Jacob ? He does not reply, 1 am greater, lest He 

should seem to boast ; but His answer implies it ; Jesus 
answered and said to her, Whosoever drinketh of this water 
shall thirst again : but whosoever drinketh of the water that 
I shall give him shall never thirst ; as if He said, If Jacob 
is to be honoured because he gave you this water, what wilt 
thou say, if I give thee far better than this ? He makes the 
comparison however not to depreciate Jacob, but to exalt 

VER. 13 18. ST. JOHN. 143 

Himself. For He does not say, that this water is vile and 
counterfeit, but asserts a simple fact of nature, viz. that 
whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. AUG. Aug. 
Which is true indeed both of material water, and of that of c r {^ v< 
which it is the type. For the water in the well is the 
pleasure of the world, that abode of darkness. Men draw 
it with the waterpot of their lusts ; pleasure is not relished, 
except it be preceded by lust. And when a man has en 
joyed this pleasure, i. e. drunk of the water, he thirsts again ; 
but if he have received water from Me, he shall never thirst. 
For how shall they thirst, who are drunken with the 
abundance of the house of God ? But He promised this Ps.36,8. 
fulness of the Holy Spirit. CHRYS. The excellence of this Chrys. 
water, viz. that he that drinketh of it never thirsts, He ex- HoD ?: , 

xxxii. 1. 

plains in what follows, But the water that I shall give him 
shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting 
life. As a man who had a spring within him, would never 
feel thirst, so will not he who has this water which I shall 
give him. THEOPHYL. For the water which I give him is 
ever multiplying. The saints receive through grace the 
seed and principle of good ; but they themselves make it 
grow by their own cultivation. CHRYS. See how the woman Chrys. 
is led by degrees to the highest doctrine. First, she thought ^^'. 1> 
He was some lax Jew. Then hearing of the living water, 
she thought it meant material water. Afterwards she under 
stands it as spoken spiritually, and believes that it can 
take away thirst, but she does not yet know what it is, only 
understands that it was superior to material things : The 
woman saith unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst 
not, neither come hither to draw. Observe, she prefers Him 
to the patriarch Jacob, for whom she had such veneration. 
AUG. Or thus ; The woman as yet understands Him of the Aug. 
flesh only. She is delighted to be relieved for ever from J^*^ 
thirst, and takes this promise of our Lord's in a carnal sense. 
For God had once granted to His servant Elijah, that he 
should neither hunger nor thirst for forty days ; and if He 
could grant this for forty days, why not for ever ? Eager to 
possess such a gift, she asks Him for the living water ; The 
woman saith unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst 
not, neither come hither to draw. Her poverty obliged her 


to labour more than her strength could well bear ; would 
Mat. 11, that she could hear, Come unto Me, all (hat labour and are 


heavy laden, and I will refresh you, Jesus had said this 
very thing, i. e. that she need not labour any longer ; but 
she did not understand Him. At last our Lord was resolved 
that she should understand : Jesus saith unto her, Go call 
thy husband, and come hither. What meaneth this ? Did 
He wish to give her the water through her husband ? Or, 
because she did not understand, did He wish to teach her 
by means of her husband ? The Apostle indeed saith of 

i Cor. women, If they will learn any thing, let them ask their 

' ' husbands at home. But this applies only where Jesus is not 

present. Our Lord Himself was present here ; what need 

then that He should speak to her through her husband ? 

Was it through her husband that He spoke to Mary, who 

Chrys. sat at His feet ? CHRYS. The woman then being urgent in 
. 2. ag king for the promised water, Jesus saith unto her, Go call 

thy husband ; to shew that he too ought to have a share in 

these things. But she was in a hurry to receive the gift, and 

wished to conceal her guilt, (for she still imagined she was 

speaking to a man :) The woman answered and said, I have 

no husband. Christ answers her with a seasonable reproof; 

exposing her as to former husbands, and as to her present 

one, whom she had concealed ; Jesus said unto her, Thou 

**%' hast well said, I have no husband. AUG. Understand, that 

c. 20. the woman had not a lawful husband, but had formed an 

irregular connexion with some one. He tells her, Thou hast 

had Jive husbands, in order to shew her His miraculous 

Orig. knowledge. ORIGEN. May not Jacob's well signify mystically 

tom.xiii. tne ] e tt er o f Scripture ; the water of Jesus, that which is above 

in Joan. * 

c. 5, 6. the letter, which all are not allowed to penetrate into ? That 

which is written was dictated by men, whereas the things 

which the eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have 

entered into the heart of man, cannot be reduced to writing, 

but are from the fountain of water, that springeth up unto 

everlasting life, i. e. the Holy Ghost. These truths are un 

folded to such as carrying no longer a human heart within 

i Cor. them, are able to say with the Apostle, We have the mind of 

n > 16> Christ. Human wisdom indeed discovers truths, which are 

handed down to posterity ; but the teaching of the Spirit is 

VEK. 13 18. ST. JOHN. 145 

a well of water which springeth up into everlasting life. The 
woman wished to attain, like the angels, to angelic and 
super-human truth without the use of Jacob's water. For 
the angels have a well of water within them, springing from 
the Word of God Himself. She says therefore, Sir, give me 
this water. But it is impossible here to have the water 
which is given by the Word, without that which is drawn 
from Jacob's well ; and therefore Jesus seems to tell the 
woman that He cannot supply her with it from any other 
source than Jacob's well ; If we are thirsty, we must first 
drink from Jacob's well. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy 
husband, and come hither. According to the Apostle, the Rom. 7, 
Law is the husband of the soul. AUG. The five husbands V 

Aug. lib. 

some interpret to be the five books which were given bylxxxiii. 
Moses. And the words, He whom thou now hast is not thy^^e!' 
husband, they understand as spoken by our Lord of Himself; 
as if He said, Thou hast served the five books of Moses, as 
five husbands ; but now he whom thou hast, i, e. whom thou 
nearest, is not thy husband', for thou dost not yet believe in 
him. But if she did not believe in Christ, she was still 
united to those five husbands, i. e. five books, and therefore 
why is it said, Thou, hast had jive husbands, as if she no 
longer had them ? And how do we understand that a man 
must have these five books, in order to pass over to Christ, 
when he who believes in Christ, so far from forsaking these 
books, embraces them in this spiritual meaning the more 
strongly ? Let us turn to another interpretation. AUG. Aug. 
Jesus seeing that the woman did not understand, and c r { 9 xv * 
wishing to enlighten her, says, Call thy husband; i. e. 
apply thine understanding. For when the life is well 
ordered, the understanding governs the soul itself, per 
taining to the soul. For though it is indeed nothing else 
than the soul, it is at the same time a certain part of the soul. 
And this very part of the soul which is called the under 
standing and the intellect, is itself illuminated by a light 
superior to itself. Such a Light was talking with the woman ; 
but in her there was not understanding to be enlightened. 
Our Lord then, as it were, says, I wish to enlighten, and 
there is not one to be enlightened ; Call thy husband, i. e. 
apply thine understanding, through which thou must be 


taught, by which governed. The five former husbands may 
be explained as the five senses, thus : a man before he has 
the use of his reason, is entirely under the government of 
his bodily senses. Then reason comes into action ; and 
from that time forward he is capable of entertaining ideas, 
and is either under the influence of truth or error. The 
woman had been under the influence of error, which error 
was not her lawful husband, but an adulterer. Wherefore 
our Lord says, Put away that adulterer which corrupts thee, 
and call thy husband, that thou mayest understand Me. 
Origen. ORIGEN. And what more proper place than Jacob's well, 
tom.xm. or ex p 0s i n g t ji e un l aw f u l husband, i. e. the perverse law? 
For the Samaritan woman is meant to figure to us a soul, 
that has subjected itself to a kind of law of its own, not the 
divine law. And our Saviour wishes to marry her to a 
lawful husband, i. e. Himself; the Word of truth which was 
to rise from the dead, and never again to die. 

19. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that 
thou art a prophet. 

20. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and 
ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men 
ought to worship. 

21. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the 
hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, 
nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 

22. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what 
we worship : for salvation is of the Jews. 

23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the 
true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and 
in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 

24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him 
must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

Chrys. CnRYS. The woman is not offended at Christ's rebuke. 

Hon !.' She does not leave Him, and go away. Far from it: her 
xxxn.2. ... 

admiration for Him is raised: The woman saith unto Him, 

Sir, I perceive that Thou art a Prophet: as if she said, Thy 
knowledge of me is unaccountable, Thou must be a prophet. 

VER. 19 - 24. ST. JOHN. 147 

AUG. The husband was beginning to come to her, though Aug. 
He had not yet fully come. She thought our Lord a prophet, . 93. ' 

and He was a prophet: for He says of Himself, A prophet 
is not icUhout honour, save in his own country. CHRYS. ch 
And having come to this belief she asks no questions relating 
to this life, the health or sickness of the body: she is not 
troubled about thirst, she is eager for doctrine. AUG. And she Au - 
begins enquiries on a subject that perplexed her; Our fathers c . 23. 
worshipped in this mountain; and ye say that in Jerusalem 
is the place where men ought to worship. This was a great 
dispute between the Samaritans and the Jews. The "Jews 
worshipped in the temple built by Solomon, and made this 
a ground of boasting over the Samaritans. The Samaritans ' 
replied, Why boast ye, because ye have a temple which 
we have not? Did our fathers, who pleased God, worship in 
that temple ? Is it not better to pray to God in this mountain, 
where our fathers worshipped? CHRYS. By, our fathers, Chrys. 
she means Abraham, who is said to have offered up Isaac ^^'2 
here. ORIGEN. Or thus; The Samaritans regarded Mount Origen. 
Gerizim, near which Jacob dwelt, as sacred, and worshipped * 3 Xm " 
upon it; while the sacred place of the Jews was Mount 
Sion, God's own choice. The Jews being the people from 
whom salvation came, are the type of true believers; the 
Samaritans of heretics. Gerizim, which signifies division, 
becomes the Samaritans; Sion, which signifies watch-tower, 
becomes the Jews. CHRYS. Christ however does not solve Chrys. 
this question immediately, but leads the woman to higher ^??j' 3 
things, of which He had not spoken till she acknowledged 
Him to be a prophet, and therefore listened with a more full 
belief: Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour 
cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at 
Jerusalem, worship the Father. He says, Believe me, because 
we have need of faith, the mother of all good, the medicine 
of salvation, in order to obtain any real good. They who 
endeavour without it, are like men who venture on the sea 
without a boat, and, being able to swim only a little way, are 
drowned. AUG. Believe Me, our Lord says with fitness, as the Aug. 
husband is now present. For now there is one in thee that Tr - xv> 

C. 24. 

believes, thou hast begun to be present in the understanding; 

but if ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established, isa. 7, 

L2 ' 9< 


ALCUIN. In saying, the hour cometh, He refers to the Gospel 
dispensation, which was now approaching; under which the 
shadows of types were to withdraw, and the pure light of 
Chrys. truth was to enlighten the minds of believers. CHRYS. There 
xxxiii was no necess ity f r Christ to shew why the fathers wor- 
i- shipped in the mountain, and the Jews in Jerusalem. He 
therefore was silent on that question; but nevertheless 
asserted the religious superiority of the Jews on another 
ground, the ground not of place, but of knowledge ; Ye 
worship ye know not what, we know what we worship; for 
Orig. salvation is of the Jews. ORIGEN. Ye, literally refers to 
tom.xiii. j. ne S amar itans, but mystically, to all who understand the 
* Scriptures in an heretical sense. We again literally means 
the Jews, but mystically, I the Word, and all who conformed 
to My Image, obtain salvation from the Jewish Scriptures. 
Chrys. CHRYS. The Samaritans worshipped they knew not what, 
xxxHi 1 a l oca ^> a partial God, as they imagined, of whom they had 
the same notion that they had of their idols. And therefore 
they mingled the worship of God with the worship of idols. 
But the Jews were free from this superstition: indeed they 
knew God to be the God of the whole world; wherefore He 
says, We worship what we know. He reckons Himself 
among the Jews, in condescension to the woman's idea of 
Him; and says as if He were a Jewish prophet, We worship, 
though it is certain that He is the Being who is worshipped 
by all. The words, For salvation is of the Jews, mean that 
every thing calculated to save and amend the world, the 
knowledge of God, the abhorrence of idols, and all other 
doctrines of that nature, and even the very origin of our 
religion, comes originally from the Jews. In salvation 
too He includes His own presence, which He says is of the 
Rom. 9, Jews, as we are told by the Apostle, Of whom as concerning 
the flesh Christ came. See how He exalts the Old Tes 
tament, which He shews to be the root of every thing good; 
thus proving in every way that He Himself is not opposed to 
Aug. the Law. AUG. It is saying much for the Jews, to declare in 
T/xv" tne ^ r name > We worship what we know. But He does not 
c. 26. speak for the reprobate Jews, but for that party from whom the 
Apostles and the Prophets came. Such were all those saints 
who laid the prices of their possessions at the Apostle's feet. 

VER. 1924. ST. JOHN. 149 

CHRYS. The Jewish worship then was far higher than theChrys. 
Samaritan; but even it shall be abolished; The hour comelh, 
and now is, when, the true worshippers shall worship the 
Father in spirit and in truth. He says, and now is, to 
shew that this was not a prediction, like those of the ancient 
Prophets, to be fulfilled in the course of ages. The event, He 
says, is now at hand, it is approaching your very doors. 
The words, true worshippers, are by way of distinction: 
for there are false worshippers who pray for temporal and 
frail benefits, or whose actions are ever contradicting their 
prayers. CHRYS. Or by saying, true, he excludes the Jews C' 
together with the Samaritans. For the Jews, though better 
than the Samaritans, were yet as much inferior to those who 
were to succeed them, as the type is to the reality. The 
true worshippers do not confine the worship of God to place, 

but worship in the spirit; as Paul saith, Whom I serve with^om. 1, 
my spirit. ORIGEN. Twice it is said, The hour cometh, 6rig en . 
and the first time without the addition, and now is, The tom ' x " K 

c. 14. 

first seems to allude to that purely spiritual worship which 
is suited only to a state of perfection; the second to earthly 
worship, perfected as far as is consistent with human nature. 
When that hour cometh, which our Lord speaks of, the 
mountain of the Samaritans must be avoided, and God 
must be worshipped in Sion, where is Jerusalem, which 
is called by Christ the city of the Great King. And this 
is the Church, where sacred oblations and spiritual victims 
are offered up by those who understand the spiritual law. 
So that when the fulness of time shall have come, the true 
worship, we must suppose, will no longer be attached to 
Jerusalem, i. e. to the present Church: for the Angels do 
not worship the Father at Jerusalem: and thus those who 
have obtained the likeness of the Jews, worship the Father 
better than they who are at Jerusalem. And when this 
hour is come, we shall be accounted by the Father as sons. 
Wherefore it is not said, Worship God, but, Worship the 
Father. But for the present the true worshippers worship 
the Father in spirit and in truth 8 . CHRYS. He speaks here chry*. 


Origen literally. The words the hour is capable of in this life. So until the xxxiii.2. 
cometh are repeated; the second time hour shall have come which the Lord 
with the addition and now is. I think speaks of, the mountain of the Sama- 
that the first expression signifies' the ntans (who represent those who separate 
most perfect worship that human nature themselves from the Church) is to be 


of the Church ; wherein there is true worship, and such as 
becometh God; and therefore adds, For the Father seeketh 
such to worship) Him. For though formerly He willed that 
mankind should linger under a dispensation of types and 
figures, this was only done in condescension to human 
frailty, and to prepare men for the reception of the truth. 
Origen. ORIGEN. But if the Father seeks, He seeks through Jesus, 
c"^ 1 " Who came to seek and to save that which was lost, and to 
teach men what true worship was. God is a Spirit ; i. e. 
He constitutes our real life, just as our breath (spirit) con- 
Chrys. stitutes our bodily life. CHRYS. Or it signifies that God is 
xxxii.2. incorporeal; and that therefore He ought to be worshipped 
not with the body, but with the soul, by the offering up 
a pure mind, i. e. that they who worship Him, must worship 
Him in spirit and in truth. The Jews neglected the soul, 
but paid great attention to the body, and had various kinds 
of purification. Our Lord seems here to refer to this, and 
to say, not by cleansing of the body, but by the incorporeal 
nature within us, i. e. the understanding, which He calls 
the spirit, that we must worship the incorporeal God. 
Hiiar. HILARY. Or, by saying that God being a Spirit ought to be 
Trin. c. worshipped in spirit, He indicates the freedom and knowledge 
of the worshippers, and the uncircumscribed nature of the 
2 Cor. worship: according to the saying of the Apostle, Where the 
c'hrys. Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. CHRYS. And that we 
xxx"i 2 are to wors hip m truth, means that whereas the former ordi 
nances were typical; that is to say, circumcision, burnt 
offerings, and sacrifices ; now, on the contrary, every thing 
is real. THEOPHYL. Or, because many think that they 
worship God in the spirit, i, e. with the mind, who yet held 
heretical doctrines concerning Him, for this reason He adds, 
and in truth. May not the words too refer to the two kinds 
of philosophy among us, i. e. active and contemplative ; the 
Rom. 8, spirit standing for action, according to the Apostle, As many 

avoided and God must be worshipped in worship the Father at Jerusalem : and 

Sion at Jerusalem, which Christ calls so those who are like them worship 

the city of the Great King. What is the Father better than those who are in 

this but the Church where the holy Jerusalem, even though for the sake of 

offerings of spiritual victims are pre- the latter they abide with them, and 

sented by men of spiritual minds ? But become Jews to the Jews, that they 

when the fulness of time shall have may gain the Jews. And when &c. 

come, the true worship will no longer be Nicolai has missed the meaning of the 

performed in Jerusalem, that is, in the last sentence, 
present Church. For the Angels do not 

VKU. 25, 2(>. ST. JOHN. 151 

as are led by the Spirit of God; truth, on the other hand, for 
contemplation. Or, (to take another view,) as the Samaritans 
thought that God was confined to a certain place, and ought 
to be worshipped in that place; in opposition to this notion, 
our Lord may mean to teach them here, that the true wor 
shippers worship not locally, but spiritually. Or again, all 
being a type and shadow in the Jewish system, the meaning 
may be that the true worshippers will worship not in type, 
but in truth. God being a Spirit, seeketh for spiritual wor 
shippers; being the truth, for true ones. AUG. O for a Aug. 
mountain to pray on, thou criest, high and inaccessible, that^^' 
I may be nearer to God, and God may hear me better, for 
He dwelleth on high. Yes, God dwelleth on high, but He 
hath respect unto the humble. Wherefore descend that thou 
mayest ascend. " Ways on high are in their heart," it is said, Ps.74,7. 
" passing in the valley of tears," and in " tears" is humility. 
Wouldest thou pray in the temple? pray in thyself; but first 
do thou become the temple of God. 

25. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias 
cometh, which is called Christ : when he is come, he 
will tell us all things. 

26. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee 
am he. 

CHRYS. The woman was struck with astonishment at thechrys. 
loftiness of His teaching, as her words shew : The woman saith ^^j 2 
unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ. 
AUG. Unctus in Latin, Christ in Greek, in the Hebrew Aug. 
Messias. She knew then who could teach her, but did \\o\^ r '^' 
know Who was teaching her. When He is come, He will tell 
us all things: as if she said, The Jews now contend for the 
temple, we for the mountain; but He, when He comes, will 
level the mountain, overthrow the temple, and teach us how 
to pray in spirit and in truth. CHRYS. But what reason hadChrys. 
the Samaritans for expecting Christ's coming? They acknow- xx^', 2. 
ledged the books of Moses, which foretold it. Jacob prophesies 
of Christ, The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Gen. 49, 
lawgiver from beneath his feet, until Shiloh come. And Moses 
says, The Lord thy God shall raise up a Prophet from t 


Orig. midst of thee, of thy brethren. ORIGEN. It should be known, 
tom.xui. t | lat ag Q] n .- st roge out Q f t h e j ewS) not only declaring but 

proving Himself to be Christ; so among the Samaritans 

there arose one Dosithens by name, who asserted that he 

Aug.iib.was the Christ prophesied of. AUG. It is a confirmation to 

Juffis't discerning minds that the five senses were what were signified 

qu. 64. by the five husbands, to find the woman making five carnal 

Chrys. answers, and then mentioning the name of Christ. CHRYS. 

ixxiii.2. Christ now reveals Himself to the woman : Jesus saith unto 

her, I thatspea,k unto thee am He. Had He told the woman 

this to begin with, it would have appeared vanity. Now, 

having gradually awakened her to the thought of Christ, His 

disclosure of Himself is perfectly opportune. He is not 

Johnio equally open to the Jews, who ask Him, If Thou be the Christ, 

24> tell us plainly ; for this reason, that they did not ask in order 

to learn, but to do Him injury ; whereas she spoke in the 

simplicity of her heart. 

27. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled 
that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, 
What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 

28. The woman then left her waterpot, and went her 
way into the city, and saith to the men, 

29. Come, see a man, which told me all things that 
ever I did: is not this the Christ? 

30. Then they went out of the city, and came unto 

Chrys. CHRYS. The disciples arrive opportunely, and when the 
Hom. teaching is finished : And upon this came His disciples, and 
2, 3. ' marvelled that He talked with the woman. They marvelled 
at the exceeding kindness and humility of Christ, in con 
descending to converse with a poor woman, and a Sama- 
Aug. ritan. AUG. He who came to seek that which was lost, 
Tr. xv. sought the lost one. This was what they marvelled at: they 
Ch marvelled at His goodness; they did not suspect evil. CHRYS. 
Hom. But notwithstanding their wonder, they asked Him no 
11 ' questions, No man said, What seekest Thou? or, Why talkest 
Thou with her? So careful were they to observe the rank of 
disciples, so great was their awe and veneration for Him. 

VER. 27 30. ST. JOHN. 153 

On subjects indeed which concerned themselves, they did 
not hesitate to ask Him questions. But this was not one. 
ORIGEN. The woman is almost turned into an Apostle. So Orig. 
forcible are His words, that she leaves her waterpot to go to 
the city, and tell her townsmen of them. Tlie woman then*- 28. 
left her waterpot, i. e. gave up low bodily cares, for the sake 
of benefitting others. Let us do the same. Let us leave off 
caring for things of the body, and impart to others of our 
own. AUG. Hydria answers to our word aquarium; hydor Au 
being Greek for water. CHRYS. As the Apostles, on being Tr. xv. 
called, left their nets, so does she leave her waterpot, to dochrys. 
the work of an Evangelist, by calling not one person, but a Hon ?* 


whole city: She went her way into the city, and saith to the 
men, Come, see a man which told me all tilings that ei'er I 
did: is not this the Christ? ORIGEN. She calls them o r i g . 
together to see a man, whose words were deeper than man's. * om -xiii. 
She had had five husbands, and then was living with the c. 29. 
sixth, not a lawful husband. But now she gives him up for 
a seventh, and she leaving her waterpot, is converted to 
chastity. CHRYS. She was not prevented by shame-faced- chrys. 
ness from spreading about what had been said to her. Hom - 


For the soul, when it is once kindled by the divine flame, 
regards neither glory, nor shame, nor any other earthly thing, 
only the flame which consumes it. But she did not wish 
them to trust to her own report only, but to come and judge 
of Christ for themselves. Come, see a man, she says. She 
does not say, Come and believe, but, Come and see; which 
is an easier matter. For well she knew that if they only 
tasted of that well, they would feel as she did. ALCUIN. It 
is only by degrees, however, that she comes to the preaching 
of Christ. First she calls Him a man, not Christ ; for fear 
those who heard her might be angry, and refuse to come. 
CHRYS. She then neither openly preaches Christ, nor wholly Chrys. 
omits Him, but says, Is not this the Christ? This wakened Hor ?' 
their attention, Then they went out of the city, and came 
unto Him. AUG. The circumstance of the woman's leaving 
her waterpot on going away, must not be overlooked. For 
the waterpot signifies the love of this world, i. e. concupiscence, 
by which men from the dark depth, of which the well is the 
image, i. e. from an earthly conversation, draw up pleasure. 


It was right then for one who believed in Christ to renounce 

the world, and, by leaving her waterpot, to shew that she had 
Aug. parted with worldly desires. AUG. She cast away therefore 
c30^ Y concupiscence, and hastened to proclaim the truth. Let 

those who wish to preach the Gospel, learn, that they should 
Orig. first leave their waterpots at the well. ORIGEN. The woman 
c ^" 1 'having become a vessel of wholesome discipline, lays aside 

as contemptible her former tastes and desires. 

31. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, 
saying, Master, eat. 

32. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that 
ye know not of. 

33. Therefore said the disciples one to another, 
Hath any man brought him ought to eat ? 

34. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the 
will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 

Aug. AUG. His disciples had gone to buy food, and had re- 

Tr. xv. turned. Thev offered Christ some: In the mean while His 
c. 31. 

disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat. CHRYS. They 
all ask Him at once, Him so fatigued with the journey and 
heat. This is not impatience in them, but simply love, and 
Orig. tenderness to their Master. ORIGEN. They think the pre- 
tom.xui. gen j. time convenient for dining ; it being after the departure 
of the woman to the city, and before the coming of the 
Samaritans ; so that they sit at meat by themselves. This 
explains, In the mean while. THEOPHYL. Our Lord, know 
ing that the woman of Samaria was bringing the whole town 
out to Him, tells His disciples, / have meat that ye know 
Chrys. 11 t of. CHRYS. The salvation of men He calls His food, 

Horn, shewing His great desire that we should be saved. As food 

is an object of desire to us, so was the salvation of men to 

Him. Observe, He does not express Himself directly, but 
figuratively ; which makes some trouble necessary for His 
hearers, in order to comprehend His meaning, and thus 
gives a greater importance to that meaning when it is 
understood. THEOPHYL. That ye know not of, i. e. know 
not that I call the salvation of men food ; or, know not that 

VER. 31 34. ST. JOHN. 155 

the Samaritans are about to believe and be saved. The 
disciples however were in perplexity: Therefore said the 
disciples one to another, Hath any man brought Him ought 
to eat ? AUG. What wonder that the woman did not under- Aug. 
stand about the water? Lo, the disciples do not under- c *' s ' 
stand about the meat. CHRYS. They shew, as usual, the chrys. 
honour and reverence in which they hold their Master, by Hon1 ' 


talking among themselves, and not presuming to question!. 
Him. THEOPHYL. From the question of the disciples, Hath 
any man brought Him ought to eat, we may infer that our 
Lord was accustomed to receive food from others, when it 
was offered Him : not that He who giveth food to all flesh, PS. 146. 
needed any assistance; but He received it, that they who 
gave it might obtain their reward, and that poverty thence 
forth might not blush, nor the support of others be esteemed 
a disgrace. It is proper and necessary that teachers should 
depend on others to provide them with food, in order that, 
being free from all other cares, they may attend the more 
to the ministry of the word. AUG. Our Lord heard His A 
doubting disciples, and answered them as disciples, i. e. Tr. xv. 
plainly and expressly, not circuitously, as He answered the 
women ; Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of 
Him that sent Me. ORIGEN. Fit meat for the Son of God, orig. 

who was so obedient to the Father, that in Him was the to - X111 - 

c. 6. 

same will that was in the Father : not two wills, but one will 
in both. The Son is capable of first acccomplishing the 
whole will of the Father. Other saints do nothing against 
the Father's will ; He does that will. That is His meat in 
an especial sense. And what means, To finish His work ? 
It would seem easy to say, that a work was what was ordered 
by him who set it ; as where men are set to build or dig. 
But some who go deeper ask whether a work being finished 
does not imply that it was before incomplete ; and whether 
God could originally have made an incomplete work ? The 
completing of the work, is the completing of a rational 
creature : for it was to complete this work, which was as 
yet imperfect, that the Word made flesh come. THEOPHYL. 
He finished the work of God, i. e. man, He, the Son of God, 
finished it by exhibiting our nature in Himself without sin, 
perfect and uncorrupt. He finished also the work of God, 


Rom. i, e. the Law, (for Christ is the end of the Law.) by abolish- 

10 4 

ing it, when every thing in it had been fulfilled, and chang- 
Orig. ing a carnal into a spiritual worship. ORIGEN. The matter 
tom.xm. O f spiritual drink and living water being explained, the sub 
ject of meat follows. Jesus had asked the woman of Samaria, 
and she could give Him none good enough. Then came the 
disciples, having procured some humble food among the 
people of the country, and offered it Him, beseeching Him 
to eat. They fear perhaps lest the Word of God, deprived 
of His own proper nourishment, fail within them ; and 
therefore with such as they have found, immediately propose 
to feed Him, that being confirmed and strengthened, He 
may abide with His nourishers. Souls require food as well 
as bodies. And as bodies require different kinds of it, and 
in different quantities, so is it in things which are above the 
Heb. 5, body. Souls differ in capacity, and one needs more nou 
rishment, another less. So too in point of quality, the same 
nourishment of words and thoughts does not suit all. 
Infants just born need the milk of the word ; the grown up, 
solid meat. Our Lord says, / have meat to eat. For one 
who is over the weak who cannot behold the same things 
with the stronger, may always speak thus b . 

35. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and 
then cometh harvest ? behold, I say unto you, Lift up 
your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white 
already to harvest. 

36. And he that reapeth recelveth wages, and 
gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that 
sovveth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 

37. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, 
and another reapeth. 

38. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed 
no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered 
into their labours. 

b i. e. those of weak faith cannot comfort he had in adversities, and what 

understand the spiritual gifts and nou- sweet joys Thy Bread had for the 

rishraent of the strong. It is " meat hidden mouth of his spirit I neither 

they know not of.'' So S. Aug , when could conjecture nor had experienced.'' 

unconverted, of S. Ambrose, " What Conf. vi. 3. 

VER. 35 38. ST. JOHN. 157 

CHRYS. What is the will of the Father He now proceeds Chrys. 
to explain: Say ye not, There are yet four months, an ^n^.i. 
then cometh harvest ? THEOPHYI,. Now ye are expecting a 
material harvest. But I say unto you, that a spiritual har 
vest is at hand: Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; 
for they are white already to harvest. He alludes to the 
Samaritans who are approaching. CHRYS. He leads them,chrys. 
as his custom is, from low things to high. Fields and Aar- H ' 
vest here express the great number of souls, which are ready 
to receive the word. The eyes are both spiritual, and 
bodily ones, for they saw a great multitude of Samaritans 
now approaching. This expectant crowd he calls very suitably 
white fields. For as the corn, when it grows white, is ready 
for the harvest; so were these ready for salvation. But why 
does He not say this in direct language ? Because by making 
use in this way of the objects around them, he gave greater 
vividness and power to His words, and brought the truth 
home to them; and also that His discourse might be more 
pleasant, and might sink deeper into their memories. AUG. Aug. 
He was intent now on beginning the work, and hastened to c F 3 2 
send labourers: And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and 
gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth 
and he that reapeth may rejoice together. CHRYS. Again, Chrys. 
He distinguishes earthly from heavenly things, for as a b ve ^x x ^2 
He said of the water, that he who drank of it should never 
thirst, so here He says, He that reapeth gathereth fruit 
unto life eternal; adding, that both he that soweth and he 
that reapeth may rejoice together. The Prophets sowed, 
the Apostles reaped, yet are not the former deprived of their 
reward. For here anew thing is promised; viz. that both 
sowers and reapers shall rejoice together. How different 
this from what we see here. Now he that soweth grieveth 
because he soweth for others, and he only that reapeth 
rejoiceth. But in the new state, the sower and reaper share 
the same wages. AUG. The Apostles and Prophets had Aug. 
different labours, corresponding to the difference of times; ^3^ 
but both will attain to like joy, and receive together their 
wages, even eternal life. CHRYS. He confirms what He Chrys. 
says by a proverb, And herein is that saying true, o 
sotrefh and another reapeth, i. e. one party has the labour, 


and another reaps the fruit. The saying is especially applicable 
here, for the Prophets had laboured, and the disciples reaped 
the fruits of their labours: I sent you to reap that ichereon 
Aug. ye bestowed no labour. AUG. So then He sent reapers, no 
J r 32 V sowers - The reapers went where the Prophets had preached. 
Read the account of their labours: they all contain prophecy 
of Christ. And the harvest was gathered on that occasion 
when so many thousands brought the prices of their pos 
sessions, and laid them at the Apostles' feet; relieving their 
shoulders from earthly burdens, that they might follow Christ. 
Yea verily, and from that harvest were a few grains scattered, 
which filled the whole world. And now ariseth another harvest, 
which will be reaped at the end of the world, not by Apostles, 
Mat. is. but by Angels. The reapers, He says, are the Angels. CHRYS. 
Hora S I sen ^ y u * rea P that whereon ye bestowed no labour, i. e. 
xxxiv.2. 1 have reserved you for a favourable time, in which the 
labour is less, the enjoyment greater. The more laborious 
part of the work was laid on the Prophets, viz. the sowing 
of the seed: Other men laboured, and ye are entered into 
their labours. Christ here throws light on the meaning of 
the old prophecies. He shews that both the Law and the 
Prophets, if rightly interpreted, led men to Him; and that 
the Prophets were sent in fact by Himself. Thus the 
intimate connexion is established between the Old Testament 
Orig. and the New. ORIGEN. How can we consistently give an 
torn. XT. allegorical meaning to the words, Lift up your eyes, fyc. and 
c.39-49. only a literal one to the words, There are yet four months, 
and then cometh harvest? The same principle of inter 
pretation surely must be applied to the latter, that is to the 
former. The four months represent the four elements, i. e. 
our natural life ; the harvest, the end of the world, when all 
conflict shall have ceased, and truth shall prevail. The 
disciples then regard the truth as incomprehensible in our 
natural state, and look forward to the end of the world for 
attaining the knowledge of it. But this idea our Lord con 
demns: Say not ye, there are four months, and then cometh 
harvest ? Behold, I say unto you. Lift up your eyes. In 
many places of Holy Scripture, we are commanded in the 
same way to raise the thoughts of our minds, which cling 
so obstinately to earth. A difficult task this for one who 

VER. 35 38. ST. JOHN. 159 

indulges his passions, and lives carnally. Such an one will 
not see if the fields be white to the harvest. For when are 
the fields white to the harvest? When the Word of God 
comes to light up and make fruitful the fields of Scripture. 
Indeed, all sensible things are as it were fields made white 
for the harvest, if only reason be at hand to interpret them. 
We lift up our eyes, and behold the whole universe over 
spread with the brightness of truth. And he that reapeth 
those harvests, has a double reward of his reaping; first, his 
wages; And he that reapeth receiveth wages; meaning his 
reward in the life to come; secondly, a certain good state 
of the understanding, which is the fruit of contemplation, And 
gathereth fruit unto life eternal. The man who thinks out 
the first principles of any science, is as it were the sower in 
that science; others taking them up, pursuing them to their 
results, and engrafting fresh matter upon them, strike out 
new discoveries, from which posterity reaps a plentiful har 
vest. And how much more may we perceive this in the art 
of arts? The seed there is the whole dispensation of the 
mystery, now revealed, but formerly hidden in darkness; 
for while men were unfit for the advent of the Word, the 
fields were not yet white to their eyes, i. e. the legal and 
prophetical Scriptures were shut up. Moses and the Pro 
phets, who preceded the coming of Christ, were the sowers of 
this seed; the Apostles who came after Christ and saw His 
glory were the reapers. They reaped and gathered into 
barns the deep meaning which lay hid under the prophetic 
writings; and did in short what those do who succeed to a 
scientific system which others have discovered, and who with 
less trouble attain to clearer results than they who originally 
sowed the seed. But they that sowed and they that reaped 
shall rejoice together in another world, in which all sorrow 
and mourning shall be done away. Nay, and have they not 
rejoiced already? Did not Moses and Elias, the sowers, 
rejoice with the reapers Peter, James, and John, when they 
saw the glory of the Son of God at the Transfiguration? 
Perhaps in, one soweth and another reapeth, one and another 
may refer simply to those who live under the Law, and those 
who live under the Gospel. For these may both rejoice 


together, inasmuch as the same end is laid up for them by oue 
God, through one Christ, in one Holy Spirit. 

39. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed 
on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, 
He told me all that ever I did. 

40. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, 
they besought him that he would tarry with them : and 
he abode there two days. 

41. And many more believed because of his own 

42. And said unto the woman, Now we believe, 
not because of thy saying : for we have heard him 
ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the 
Saviour of the world. 

Orig. ORIGEN. After this conversation with the disciples, Scripture 
in'joan returns to ^ose who had believed on the testimony of the 
c. so. woman, and were come to see Jesus. CHRYS. It is now, as 
Horn, it were, harvest time, when the corn is gathered, and a whole 
xxxiv.2. fl oor soon covered with sheaves ; And many of the- Samaritans 
of that city believed on Him, for the saying of the woman 
which testified. He told me all that ever I did. They con 
sidered that the woman would never of her own accord have 
conceived such admiration for one Who had reproved her 
offences, unless He were really some great and wonderful 
Horn, person. And thus relying solely on the testimony of the 
xxxv<1 ' woman, without any other evidence, they went out to beseech 
Christ to stay with them : So when the Samaritans were 
come to Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with 
them. The Jews when they saw His miracles, so far from 
begging Him to stay, tried in every way to get rid of His 
presence. Such is the power of malice, and envy, and vain 
glory, that obstinate vice which poisons even goodness itself. 
Though the Samaritans however wished to keep Him with 
them, He would not consent, but only tarried there two days. 
Orig. ORIGEN. It is natural to ask, why our Saviour stays with the S amar itans, when He had given a command to His disciples 

VRR. 39- 42. ST. JOHN. 161 

not to enter into any city of the Samaritans. But we must 
explain this mystically. To go the way of the Gentiles, is 
to be imbued with Gentile doctrine ; to go into a city of the 
Samaritans, is to admit the doctrines of those who believe 
the Scriptures, but interpret them heretically. But when 
men have given up their own doctrines, and come to Jesus, 
it is lawful to stay with them. CHRYS. The Jews disbelieved chrys. 
in spite of miracles, whfle these exhibited great faith, be- Hom< 
fore even a miracle was wrought, and when they had only 
heard our Lord's words. And many more believed because of 
His own word. Why then do not the Evangelists give these 
words ? To shew that they omit many important things, and 
because the result shews what they were ; the result being 
that the whole city \yas convinced. On the other hand, 
when the hearers are not convinced, the Evangelists are 
obliged to give our Lord's words, that the failure may be 
seen to be owing to the indifference of the hearers, not to 
any defect in the preacher. And now, having become 
Christ's disciples, they dismiss their first instructor; And 
they said unto the woman, Now we believe not because of 
thy saying : for we have heard Him ourselves, and know 
that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. 
How soon they understand that He was come for the 
deliverance of the whole world, and could not therefore 
confine His purposes to the Jews, but must sow the Word 
every where. Their saying too, The Saviour of the world, 
implies that they looked on this world as miserable and 
lost; and that, whereas Prophets and Angels had come 
to save it, this was the only real Saviour, the Author not 
only of temporal but eternal salvation. And, observe, 
whereas the woman had spoken doubtfully, /* not this the 
Christ? they do not say, we suspect, but we know, know, 
that this is indeed the Saviour of the world, not one Christ 
out of many. Though they had only heard His words, they 
said as much as they could have done, had they seen ever 
so many and great miracles. ORIGEN. With the aid of ourorig. 
former observations on Jacob's well, and the water, it will tol ?- xviu 

c. 50. 

not be difficult to see, why, when they find the true word, 
they leave other doctrines, i. e. the city, for a sound faith, c. 51. 
Observe, they did not ask our Saviour only to enter Samaria, 



St. John particularly remarks, or enter that city, but to tarry 
there. Jesus tarries with those who ask Him, and especially 
Orig. with those who go out of the city to Him. OKI GEN. They 
c!^ 1 " were not rea dy yet for the third day ; having no anxiety to 
see a miracle, as those had who supped with Jesus in Cana 
of Galilee. (This supper was after He had been in Cana three 
days.) The woman's report was the ground of their belief. 
The enlightening power of the Word itself was not yet visible 
^ n s- to them. AUG. So then they knew Christ first by report of 
c. 33. another, afterwards by His own presence ; which is still the 
case of those that are without the fold, and not yet Christians. 
Christ is announced to them by some charitable Christians, 
by the report of the woman, i. e. the Church ; they come to 
Christ, they believe on Him, through the instrumentality of 
that woman ; He stays withthem two days, i. e. gives them 
two precepts of charity. And thenceforth their belief is 
stronger. They believe that He is indeed the Saviour of 
Orig. the world. OKI GEN. For it is impossible that the same 
g OI 52 XU1 " impression should be produced by hearing from one who 
has seen, and seeing one's self; walking by sight is different 
from walking by faith. The Samaritans now do not be 
lieve only from testimony, but from really seeing the truth. 

43. Now after two days he departed thence, and 
went into Galilee. 

44. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath 
no honour in his own country. 

45. Then when he was come into Galilee, the 
Galileans received him, having seen all the things 
that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also 
went unto the feast. 

Aug. AUG. After staying two days in Samaria, He departed into 
n ' Galilee, where He resided : Now after two days He departed 
thence, and went into Galilee. AUG. Why then does the 
Evangelist say immediately, For Jesus Himself testified, 
that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. For 
He would seem to have testified more to the truth, had He 
remained in Samaria, and not gone into Galilee. Not so: 

VER. 43 45. ST. JOHN. 163 

He stayed two days in Samaria, and the Samaritans believed 
on Him : He stayed the same time in Galilee, and the Gali 
leans did not believe on Him, and therefore He said, that a 
prophet hath no honour in his own country. CHEYS. OrChrys. 
consider this the reason that He went, not to Capernaum, xx ^' j 
but to Galilee and Cana, as appears below, His country being, 
I think, Capernaum. As He did not obtain honour there, 
hear what He says ; And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted Mat.n, 
unto heaven^ shalt be brought down to hell. He calls it His ' 
own country, because He had most resided here. THEOPHYL. 
Or thus : Our Lord on leaving Samaria for Galilee, explains 
why He was not always in Galilee : viz. because of the little 
honour He received there. A prophet hath no honour in 
his own country. ORIGEN. The country of the prophets wasOrig. 
Judaea, and every one knows how little honour they received C .' 4 XV1 

from the Jews, as we read, Whom of the prophets have 
your fathers persecuted? One cannot but wonder at the truth 
of this saying, exemplified not only in the contempt cast 
upon the holy prophets and our Lord Himself, but also in 
the case of other teachers of wisdom who have been despised 
by their fellow-citizens and put to death c . CHRYS. But do chrys. 
we not see many held in admiration by their own people ? 
We do ; but we cannot argue from a few instances. If some 
are honoured in their own country, many more are honoured 
out of it, and familiarity generally subjects men to contempt. 
The Galileans however received our Lord : Then when He 
was come into Galilee, the Galileans received Him. Observe 
how those who are spoken ill of, are always the first to come 
to Christ. Of the Galileans we find it said below, Search and 
look, for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. And He is 
reproached with being a Samaritan, Thou art a Samaritan, 
and hast a devil. And yet the Samaritans and Galileans 
believe, to the condemnation of the Jews. The Galileans 
however are superior to the Samaritans; for the latter 
believed from hearing the woman's words, the former from 
seeing the signs which He did : Having seen all the things 
that He did at Jerusalem at the feast. ORIGEN. Our Lord orig. 
by ejecting those who sold sheep and oxen from the temple, tom.x 
had impressed the Galileans with a strong idea of His ' 

c In allusion to the persecution of some Greek philosophers. 


Majesty, and they received Him. His power was shewn 
no less in this act, than in making the blind to see, and the 
deaf to hear. But probably He had performed some other 
miracles as well. BEDE. They had seen Him at Jerusalem, 
For they also went unto the feast. Our Lord's return has a 
mystical meaning, viz. that, when the Gentiles have been 
confirmed in the faith by the two precepts of love, i. e. at the 
end of the world, He will return to His country, i. e. Judaea. 
Orig. ORIGEN. The Galilaeans were allowed to keep the feast at 
'Jerusalem, where they had seen Jesus. Thus they were 
prepared to receive Him, when He came: otherwise they 
would either have rejected Him; or He, knowing their 
unprepared state, would not have gone near them. 

46. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, 
where he made the water wine. And there was a 
certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 

47. When he heard that Jesus was come out of 
Judsea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought 
him that he would come down, and heal his son : for 
he wa,s at the point of death. 

48. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs 
and wonders, ye will not believe. 

49. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down 
ere my child die. 

50. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son 
liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus 
had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 

51. And as he was now going down, his servants 
met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 

52. Then enquired he of them the hour when he 
began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday 
at the seventh hour the fever left him. 

53. So the father knew that it was at the same 
hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son 
liveth : and himself believed, and his whole house. 

VER. 46 - 54. ST. JOHN. 165 

54. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, 
when he was come out of Judsea into Galilee. 

CHRYS. On a former occasion our Lord attended a'Chrys. 
marriage in Cana of Galilee, now He goes there to convert xx ,^' 2 
the people, and confirm by His presence the faith which 
His miracle had produced. He goes there in preference 
to His own country. AUG. There, we are told, His disciples Aug. 
believed on Him. Though the house was crowded with Tr - XV! - 
guests, the only persons who believed in consequence of this 
great miracle, were His disciples. He therefore visits the city 
again, in order to try a second time to convert them. THEO- 
VHYL. The Evangelist reminds us of the miracle in order to 
express the praise due to the Samaritans d . For the Galileans 
in receiving Him were influenced as well by the miracle 
He had wrought with them, as by those they had seen at 
Jerusalem. The nobleman certainly believed in consequence 
of the miracle performed at Cana, though he did not yet 
understand Christ's full greatness ; And there was a certain 
nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. ORIGEN. Orig. 
Some think that this was an officer of King Herod's J^'*"* 
others, that he was one of Caesar's household, then employed 
on some commission in Judaea. It is not said that He was 
a Jew. AUG. He is called a nobleman, either as being of the' 3 *"*" 


royal family, or as having some office of government. CHRYS. Chrys. 
Some think that he is the same centurion, who is 

in Matthew. But that he is a different person is clear from Matt. 8, 
this ; that the latter, when Christ wished to come to his 
house, entreated Him not ; whereas the former brought 
Christ to his house, though he had received no promise of 
a cure. And the latter met Jesus on His way from the 
mountain to Capernaum ; whereas the former came to Jesus 
in Cana. And the latter servant was laid up with the 
palsy, the former's son with a fever. Of this nobleman then 
we read, When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea 
into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He 
would heal his son : for he was at the point of death AUG. Aug. 
Did not he who made this request believe? Mark what c r g XT1 ' 
our Lord says; Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see 

d S/a ri avl&ireu ~Sajtixttirar <rt iyxwuiev. But in the Lat. it is, ut augeret 
Christ! prteconium. 


and wonders, ye will not believe. This is to charge 
the man either with lukewarmness, or coldness of faith, or 
with want of faith altogether : as if his only object was to 
put Christ's power to the test, and see who and what kind 
of person Christ was, and what He could do. The word 
prodifjy (wonder) signifies something far off", in futurity. 
AUG. Our Lord would have the mind of the believer so 
raised above all mutable things, as not to seek even for 
miracles. For miracles, though sent from heaven, are, in 

Greg, their subject matter, mutable. GREG. Remember what He 
asked for, and you will plainly see that he doubted. He 
. asked Him to come down and see his son: The nobleman 
sailh unto him, Sir, come down, ere my child die. His 
faith was deficient ; in that he thought that our Lord could 

Chrys. not save, except He were personally present. CHRYS. And 
. 2. mark his earthly mind, shewn in hurrying Christ along with 

him ; as if our Lord could not raise his son after death. 
Indeed it is very possible that he may have asked 
in unbelief. For fathers often are so carried away by their 
affection, as to consult not only those they depend upon, but 
even those they do not depend upon at all : not wishing to 
leave any means untried, which might save their children. 
But had he had any strong reliance upon Christ, he would 
. have gone to Him in Judaea. GREG. Our Lord in His answer 

Horn, in . . . . 

Evang. implies that He is in a certain sense where He is invited 

xxvui. pregen^ even w hen He is absent from a place. He saves by 
His command simply, even as by His will He created all 
things : Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth. 
Here is a blow to that pride which honours human wealth 
and greatness, and not that nature which is made after the 
image of God. Our Redeemer, to shew that things made 
much of among men, were to be despised by Saints, and 
things despised made much of, did not go to the nobleman's 

Chrys. SOIlj DU t was ready to go to the centurion's servant. CHRYS. 

xxxv. 2. Or thus; In the centurion there was confirmed faith and true 
devotion, and therefore our Lord was ready to go. But the 
nobleman's faith was still imperfect, as he thought our Lord 
could not heal in the absence of the sick person. But 
Chjiist's answer enlightened him. And the man believed the 
word which Jesus had spoken to him, and went his way. He 
did not believe, however, wholly or completely. ORIGEN. His 

VER. 40 54. ST. JOHN. 167 

rank appears in the fact of his servants meeting him : And 
as he was now going down, fits servants met him, and 
told him, saying, Thy son liveth. CHRYS. They met him, Chrys. 
to announce what had happened, and prevent Christ from xx ^' 3 
coming, as He was no longer wanted. That the nobleman 
did not fully believe, is shewn by what follows : Then enquired 
he of them at what hour he began to amend. He wished 
to find out whether the recovery was accidental, or owing to 
our Lord's word. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the 
seventh hour the fever left him. How obvious is the 
miracle? His recovery did not take place in an ordinary 
way, but all at once ; in order that it might be seen to be 
Christ's doing, and not the result of nature : So the father 
knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said 
unto him, Thy son livelh ; and himself believed, and his 
whole house. AUG. If he only believed when he was told Aug. 
that his son was well again, and had compared the hour c r g XV 
according to his servant's account, with the hour predicted 
by Christ, he did not believe when he first made the 
petition. BEDE. So, we see, faith, like the other virtues, is 
formed gradually, and has its beginning, growth, and ma 
turity. His faith had its beginning, when he asked for his 
son's recovery; its growth, when he believed our Lord's 
words, Thy son liveth ; its maturity, after the announcement 
of the fact by his servants. AUG. The Samaritans believed Aug. 
on the strength of His words only : that whole house believed c /3* v 
on the strength of the miracle which had been brought in it. 
The Evangelist adds, This is again the second miracle which 
Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaa into Galilee. 
CHRYS. The second miracle, he says markedly. The Jews Chrys. 
had not come to the more perfect faith of the Samaritans, xxxvi.l 
who saw no miracle. ORIGEN. The sentence is ambiguous. Orig. 
Taken one way, it means that Jesus after coming to Galilee, C ( V1 
performed two miracles, of which that of healing the noble 
man's son was the second : taken another, it means, that of 
the two miracles which Jesus performed in Galilee, the 
second was done after coming from Judaea into Galilee. The 
latter is the true and received meaning. Mystically, the two c. 56. 
journeys of Christ into Galilee signify His two advents; at 
the first of which He makes us His guest at supper, and 


gives us wine to drink; at the second, He raises up the 
nobleman's son who was at the point of death, i. e. the 
Jewish people, who, after the fulness of the Gentiles, attain 
themselves to salvation. For, as the great King of 
Kings is He, whom God hath seated upon His holy hill of 
Sion, so the lesser king is he, who saw his day, and was 
glad, i. e. Abraham e . And therefore his sick son is the 
Jewish people fallen from the true religion, and thrown into 
a fever in consequence by the fiery darts of the enemy. And 
we know that the saints of old, even when they had put off 
the covering of the flesh, made the people the object of 
their care: for we read in Maccabees, after the death of 
2 Mace. Jeremiah, This is Jeremias the prophet of the Lord, who 
prayeth much for the people. Abraham therefore prays to 
our Saviour to succour his diseased people. Again, the word 
of power, TJiy son liveth, comes forth from Cana, i. e. the work 
of the Word, the healing of the nobleman's son, is done in 
Capernaum, i. e. the land of consolation. The nobleman's 
son signifies the class of believers who though diseased are yet 
not altogether destitute of fruits. The words, Except ye 
see signs and wonders, ye will not believe, are spoken of the 
Jewish people in general, or perhaps of the nobleman, i. e- 
Abraham himself, in a certain sense. For as John waited 
for a sign ; on Whom thou shall see the Spirit descending ; 
so too the Saints who died before the coming of Christ in the 
flesh, expected Him to manifest Himself by signs and won 
ders. And this nobleman too had servants as well as a son ; 
which servants stand for the lower and weaker class of 
believers. Nor is it chance that the fever leaves the son at 
the seventh hour ; for seven is the number of rest. ALCUIN. 
Or it was the seventh hour, because all remission of sins is 
through the sevenfold Spirit ; for the number seven divided 
into three and four, signifies the Holy Trinity, in the four 
Orig. seasons of the world, in the four elements. ORIGEN. There!"' raav t> e au allusion in the two journeys to the two advents 
of Christ in the soul, the first supplying a spiritual banquet of 
wine, the second taking away all remains of weakness and 
death. THEOPHYL. The little king stands for man generally; 
man not only deriving his soul from the King of the 
The same word as nobleman: a more literal translation. 

VER. 46 54. 



universe, but having Himself dominion over all things. His 
son, i. e. his mind, labours under a fever of evil passion 
and desires. He goes to Jesus and entreats Him to come 
down ; i. e. to exercise the condescension of His pity, and 
pardon his sins, before it is too late. Our Lord answers ; 
Go thy way, i. e. advance in holiness, and then thy son will 
live ; but if thou stop short in thy course, thou wilt destroy 
the power of understanding and doing right. 


1. After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus 
went up to Jerusalem. 

2. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market 
a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, 
having five porches. 

3. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, 
of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the 

4. For an angel went down at a certain season into 
the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then 
first after the troubling of the water stepped in, was 
made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 

5. And a certain man was there, which had an 
infirmity thirty and eight years. 

6. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had 
been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, 
Wilt thou be made whole? 

7. The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no 
man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the 
pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down 
before me. 

8. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and 

9. And immediately the man was made whole, 
and took up his bed, and walked : and on the same day 
was the sabbath. 

10. The Jews therefore said unto him that was 
cured, It is the sabbath day : it is not lawful for thee 
to carry thy bed. 

VEK. 1 13. ST. JOHX. 171 

11. He answered them, He that made me whole, 
the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 

12. Then asked they him, What man is that which 
said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk ? 

13. And he that was healed wist not who it was: 
for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being 
in that place. 

AUG. After the miracle in Galilee, He returns to Jerusalem : Aug. 
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up E e va ng' 
to Jerusalem. CHRYS. The feast of Pentecost. Jesus always 
went up to Jerusalem at the time of the feasts, that it might Hom. 
be seen that He was not an enemy to, but an observer of, the xxxvi-1 ' 
Law. And it gave Him the opportunity of impressing the 
simple multitude by miracles and teaching: as great numbers 
used then to collect from the neighbouring towns. 

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep-market a pool, 
which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five 
porches. ALCUIN. The pool by the sheep-market, is the 
place where the priest washed the animals that were going 
to be sacrificed. CHRYS. This pool was one among many 
types of that baptism, which was to purge away sin. First 
God enjoined water for the cleansing from the filth of the 
body, and from those defilements, which were not real, but 
legal, e. g. those from death, or leprosy, and the like. After 
wards infirmities were healed by water, as we read: In these 
(the porches) lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, 
halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. This 
was a nearer approximation to the gift of baptism, when not 
only defilements are cleansed, but sicknesses healed. Types 
are of various ranks, just as in a court, some officers are 
nearer to the prince, others farther off. The water, however,: 
did not heal by virtue of its own natural properties, (for if so 
the effect would have followed uniformly,) but by the descent 
of an Angel: For an Angel went down at a certain season 
into the pool, and troubled the water. In the same way, in 
Baptism, water does not act simply as water, but receives 
first the grace of the Holy Spirit, by means of which it 
cleanses us from all our sins. And the Angel troubled the 



water, and imparted a healing virtue to it, in order to pre 
figure to the Jews that far greater power of the Lord of the 
Angels, of healing the diseases of the soul. But then their 
infirmities prevented their applying the cure; for it follows, 
Whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped 
in, was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. But now 
every one may attain this blessing, for it is not an Angel 
which troubleth the water, but the Lord of Angels, which 
worketh every where. Though the whole world come, grace 
fails not, but remains as full as ever; like the sun's rays 
which give light all day, and every day, and yet are not 
spent. The sun's light is not diminished by this bountiful 
expenditure: no more is the influence of the Holy' Spirit by 
the largeness of its outpourings. Not more than one could be 
cured at the pool; God's design being to put before men's 
minds, and oblige them to dwell upon, the healing power of 
water; that from the effect of water on the body, they might 
ug- .. believe more readily its power on the soul. AUG. It was a 

Tr. xvii. 

c. i. greater act in Christ, to heal the diseases of the soul, than 
the sicknesses of the perishable body. But as the soul itself 
did not know its Restorer, as it had eyes in the flesh to 
discern visible things, but not in the heart wherewith to 
know God ; our Lord performed cures which could be seen, 
that He might afterwards work cures which could not be 
seen. He went to the place, where lay a multitude of sick, 
out of whom He chose one to heal : And a certain man was 

Chrys. there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. CHRVS. 
He did not, however, proceed immediately to heal him, but 

*> 2> first tried by conversation to bring him into a believing 
state of mind. Not that He required faith in the first 

Matt. 9, instance, as He did from the blind man, saying, Believe ye 
that I am able to do this ? for the lame man could not well 
know who He was. Persons who in different ways had had 
the means of knowing Him, were asked this question, and 
properly so. But there were some who did not and could 
not know Him yet, but would be made to know Him by His 
miracles afterwards. And in their case the demand for failh 
is reserved till after those miracles have taken place : When 
Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been a long time 
in that case, He saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole ? 

VER. 1 13. ST. JOHN. 173 

He does not ask this question for His own information, (this 
were unnecessary,) but to bring to light the great patience 
of the man, who for thirty and eight years had sat year after 
year by the place, in the hope of being cured; which 
sufficiently explains why Christ passed by the others, and 
went to him. And He does not say, Dost thou wish Me to 
heal thee ? for the man had not as yet any idea that He was 
so great a Person. Nor on the other hand did the lame 
man suspect any mockery in the question, to make him take 
offence, and say, Hast thou come to vex me, by asking me if 
I would be made whole ; but he answered mildly, Sir, I have 
no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool; 
but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 
He had no idea as yet that the Person who put this question 
to him would heal him, but thought that Christ might 
probably be of use in putting him into the water. But Christ's 
word is sufficient, Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, 
and walk. AUG. Three distinct biddings. Rise, however, is Aug. 
not a command, but the conferring of the cure. Two com- c> r ^ XT11 
mands were given upon his cure, take up thy bed, and walk. 
CHRYS. Behold the richness of the Divine Wisdom. He not Chrys. 
only heals, but bids him carry his bed also. This was to xx ^i. 
shew the cure was really miraculous, and not a mere effect 1 > 2 * 
of the imagination; for the man's limbs must have become 
quite sound and compact, to allow him to take up his bed. 
The impotent man again did not deride and say, The Angel 
cometh down, and troubleth the water, and he only cureth 
one each time; dost Thou, who art a mere man, think that 
Thou canst do more than an Angel ? On the contrary, he 
heard, believed Him who bade him, and was made whole : And 
immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, 
and walked. BEDE; There is a wide difference between 
our Lord's mode of healing, and a physician's. He acts by 
His word, and acts immediately: the other's requires a long 
time for its completion. CHRYS. This was wonderful, but Chrys. 
what follows more so. As yet he had no opposition to face, 
It is made more wonderful when we see him obeying Christ 2. 
afterwards in spite of the rage and railing of the Jews : And 
on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said 
unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day, it is not 


Aug. lawful for thee to carry thy bed. AUG. They did not charge 
c . io. 1 'our Lord with healing on the sabbath, for He would have 
replied that if an ox or an ass of theirs had fallen into a pit, 
would not they have taken it out on the sabbath day : but 
they addressed the man as he was carrying his bed, as if 
to say, Even if the healing could not be delayed, why enjoin 
the work? He shields himself under the authority of his 
Healer: He that made me whole, the Same said unto me, 
Take up thy bed, and walk: meaning, Why should not 1 
Chrys. receive a command, if I received a cure from Him? CHRYS. 
Had he been inclined to deal treacherously, he might have 

2 - said, If it is a crime, accuse Him Who commanded it, and 
I will lay down my bed. And he would have concealed his 
cure, knowing, as he did, that their real cause of offence was 
not the breaking of the Sabbath, but the miracle. But he 
neither concealed it, nor asked for pardon, but boldly con 
fessed the cure. They then ask spitefully; What man is 
that who said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and ivalk. They 
do not say, Who is it, who made thee whole? but only 
mention the offence. It follows, And he that was healed 
wist not who it was, for Jesus had conveyed Himself away, 
a multitude being in that place. This He had done first, 
because the man who had been made whole, was the best 
witness of the cure, and could give his testimony with less 
suspicion in our Lord's absence; and secondly, that the 
fury of men might not be excited more than was necessary. 
For the mere sight of the object of envy, is no small incentive 
to envy. For these reasons He departed, and left them to 
examine the fact for themselves. Some are of opinion, that 
this is the same with the one who had the palsy, whom 
Matthew mentions. But he is not. For the latter had many 
to wait upon, and carry him, whereas this man had none. 
And the place where the miracle was performed, is different. 
Aug. AUG. Judging on low and human notions of this miracle, 
c r j ivil 'it is not at all a striking display of power, and only a 
moderate one of goodness. Of so many, who lay sick, only one 
was healed ; though, had He chosen, He could have restored 
them all by a single word. How must we account for this? 
By supposing that His power and goodness were asserted 
more for imparting a knowledge of eternal salvation to the 

VER. 1 13. ST. JOHN. 175 

soul, than working a temporal cure on the body. That 
which received the temporal cure was certain to decay at 
last, when death arrived : whereas the soul which believed 
passed into life eternal. The pool and the water seem to 
me to signify the Jewish people: for John in the Apocalypse Rev. 17, 
obviously uses water to express people. BEDE. It is fitly Bede. in 
described as a sheep pool. By sheep are meant people, v - ca P- 
according to the passage, We are Ttiy people, and the Ps 95,7. 
sheep of Thy pasture. AUG. The water then, i. e. the people, Aug. 
was enclosed within five porches, i. e. the five books of c r 2* vn " 
Moses. But those books only betrayed the impotent, and 
did not recover them ; thai is to say, the Law convicted the 
sinner, but did not absolve him. BEDE. Lastly, many kinds 
of impotent folk lay near the pool : the blind, i. e. those who 
are withoutthelightof knowledge; the lame, i. e. those who have 
not strength to do what they are commanded ; the withered, 
i. e. those who have not the marrow of heavenly love. AUG. Aug. 
So then Christ came to the Jewish people, and by means of Tr ^ xvu 
mighty works, and profitable lessons, troubled the sinners, 
i. e. the water, and the stirring continued till He brought 
on His own passion. But He troubled the water, unknown 
to the world. For had they known Him, they would not i Cor. 
have crucified the Lord of glory. But the troubling of the lf 
water came on all at once, and it was not seen who troubled 
it. Again, to go down into the troubled water, is to believe 
humbly on our Lord's passion. Only one was healed, to 
signify the unity of the Church : whoever came afterwards 
was not healed, to signify that whoever is out of this unity 
cannot be healed. Wo to them who hate unity, and raise 
sects. Again, he who was healed had had his infirmity 
thirty and eight years : this being a number which belongs 
to sickness, rather than to health. The number forty has a 
sacred character with us, and is significative of perfection. 
For the Law was given in Ten Commandments, and was to 
be preached throughout the whole world, which consists of 
four parts ; and four multiplied into ten, make up the num 
ber forty. And the Law too is fulfilled by the Gospel, 
which is written in four books. So then if the number 
forty possesses the perfectness of the Law, and nothing 
fulfils the Law, except the twofold precept of love, why 


wonder at the impotence of him, who was two less than 
forty? Some man was necessary for his recovery; but it 
was a man who was God. He found the man falling short 
by the number two, and therefore gave two commandments, 
to fill up the deficiency. For the two precepts of our Lord 
signify love; the love of God being first in order of com 
mand, the love of our neighbour, in order of performance. 
Take up thy bed, our Lord saith, meaning, When thou 
wert impotent, thy neighbour carried thee; now thou art 
made whole, carry thy neighbour. And walk ; but whither, 

Bede. except to the Lord thy God. BEDE. What mean the words, 

c.y.num. Arise, and walk; except that thou shouldest raise thyself 
from thy torpor and indolence, and study to advance in 
good works. Take up thy bed, i. e. thy neighbour by 

A U g. which thou art carried, and bear him patiently thyself. AUG. 

Tr.xvii. Carry him then with whom thou walkest, that thou mayest 
come to Him with Whom thou desirest to abide. As yet 
however he wist not who Jesus was; just as we too believe 
in Him though we see Him not. Jesus again does not wish 
to be seen, but conveys Himself out of the crowd. Tt is in a 
kind of solitude of the mind, that God is seen : the crowd is 
noisy ; this vision requires stillness. 

14. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and 
said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole : sin no 
more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. 

15. The man departed, and told the Jews that it 
was Jesus, which had made him whole. 

16. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, 
and sought to slay him, because he had done these 
things on the sabbath day. 

17. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh 
hitherto, and I work. 

18. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill 
him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but 
said also that God was his Father, making himself 
equal with God. 

VEK. 14 18. ST. JOHN. 177 

CHRYS. The man, when healed, did not proceed to the Chrys. 
market place, or give himself up to pleasure or vain glpiy,^^^ 
but, which was a great mark of religion, went to the temple: 
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple. AOG. The Lord Aug. 
Jesus saw him both in the crowd, and in the temple. The c . ii. 
impotent man does not recognise Jesus in the crowd; but 
in the temple, being a sacred place, he does. ALCUIN. Forinloe. 
if we would know our Maker's grace, and attain to the sight 
of Him, we must avoid the crowd of evil thoughts and affec 
tions, convey ourselves out of the congregation of the wicked, 
and flee to the temple ; in order that we may make ourselves 
the temple of God, souls whom God will visit, and in whom 
He will deign to dwell. 

And (He) said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole ; 
sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee. CHRYS. Chrys. 
Here we learn in the first place, that his disease was the con- xxxv iii. 
sequence of his sins. We are apt to bear with great indif- * 
ference the diseases of our souls ; but, should the body 
suffer ever so little hurt, we have recourse to the most 
energetic remedies. Wherefore God punishes the body for 
the offences of the soul. Secondly, we learn, that there is 
really a Hell. Thirdly, that it is a place of lasting and infinite 
punishment. Some say indeed, Because we have corrupted 
ourselves for a short time, shall we be tormented eternally ? 
But see how long this man was tormented for his sins. 
Sin is not to be measured by length of time, but by the 
nature of the sin itself. And besides this we learn, that if, 
after undergoing a heavy punishment for our sins, we fall 
into them again, we shall incur another and a heavier punish 
ment still: and justly ; for one, who has undergone punish 
ment, and has not been made better by it, proves himself 
to be a hardened person, and a despiser; and, as such, 
deserving of still greater torments. Nor let it embolden us, 
that we do not see all punished for their offences here : for 
if men do not suffer for their offences here, it is only a sign 
that their punishment will be the greater hereafter. Our 
diseases however do not always arise from sins ; but only 
most commonly so. For some spring from other lax habits: 
some are sent for the sake of trial, as Job's were. But why 

c Alcuin's commentary on St. John's Gospel is the work always referred to. 



does Christ make mention of this palsied man's sins ? Some 
say, because he had been an accuser of Christ. And shall 
we say the same of the man afflicted with the palsy? 

Matt. 9, For he too was told, Thy sins are forgiven thee? The truth 

is, Christ does not find fault with the man here for his past sins, 

but only warns him against future. In healing others, 

however, He makes no mention of sins at all: so that it 

would seem to be the case that the diseases of these 

men had arisen from their sins ; whereas those of the 

others had come from natural causes only. Or perhaps 

through these, He admonishes all the rest. Or he may have 

admonished this man, knowing his great patience of mind, and 

that he would bear an admonition. Tt is a disclosure too of 

His divinity, for He implies in saying, Sin no more, that He 

Aug. knew what sins He had committed. AUG. Now that the 

c< j 2- 'man had seen Jesus, and knew Him to be the author of his 

recovery, he was not slow in preaching Him to others: The 

man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which 

Chrys. had made him whole. CHRYS. He was not so insensible to 

xxxviii. the benefit, and the advice he had received, as to have any 

malignant aim in speaking this news. Had it been done to 

disparage Christ, he could have concealed the cure, and put 

forward the offence. But he does not mention Jesus's 

saying, Take up thy bed, which was an offence in the eyes 

of the Jews ; but told the Jews that it was Jesus which had 

U B' ... made him whole. AUG. This announcement enraged them, 


c. 13. And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, because He had 
done these things on the sabbath day. A plain bodily work 
had been done before their eyes, distinct from the healing of 
the man's body, and which could not have been necessary, 
even if healing was; viz. the carrying of the bed. 
Wherefore our Lord openly says, that the sacrament of the 
Sabbath, the sign of observing one day out of seven, was 
only a temporary institution, which had attained its fulfil 
ment in Him : But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh 
hitherto, and I work : as if He said, Do not suppose that 
My Father rested on the Sabbath in such a sense, as that 
from that time forth, He has ceased from working; for He 
worketh up to this time, though without labour, and so 
work T. God's resting means only that He made no other 

VER. 14 18. ST. JOHN. 

creature, after the creation. The Scripture calls it rest, to 
remind us of the rest we shall enjoy after a life of good 
works here. And as God only when He had made man in 
His own image and similitude, and finished all His works, 
and seen that they were very good, rested on the seventh 
day: so do thou expect no rest, except thou return to the 
likeness in which thou wert made, but which thou hast lost by 
sin; i. e. unless thou doest good works. AUG. It maybe said Aug. 
then, that the observance of the sabbath was imposed on the 
Jews, as the shadow of something to come; viz. that spiritual litteram 
rest, which God, by the figure of His own rest promised 
to all who should perform good works. AUG. There will be 
a sabbath of the world, when the six ages, i. e. the six days, 
as it were, of the world, have passed : then will come that 
rest which is promised to the saints. AUG. The mystery of Aug. 
which rest the Lord Jesus Himself sealed by His burial: for^^ 
He rested in His sepulchre on the sabbath, having on c - xi - 
the sixth day finished all His work, inasmuch as He said, 
It is finished. What wonder then that God, to prefigure the c- 19. 
day on which Christ was to rest in the grave, rested one 
day from His works, afterwards to carry on the work of 
governing the world. We may consider too that God, when 
He rested, rested from the work of creation simply, i. e. 
made no more new kinds of creatures : but that from that time 
till now, He has been carrying on the government of those 
creatures. For His power, as respects the government of 
heaven and earth, and all the things that He had made, did 
not cease on the seventh day: they would have perished 
immediately, without His government: because the power of 
the Creator is that on which the existence of every creature 
depends. If it ceased to govern, every species of creation 
would cease to exist: and all nature would go to nothing. 
For the world is not like a building, which stands after the 
architect has left it; it could not stand the twinkling of an 
eye, if God withdrew His governing hand. Therefore when 
our Lord says, My Father worketh hitherto, he means the 
continuation of the work ; the holding together, and governing 
of the creation. It might have been different, had He said, 
Worketh even now. This would not have conveyed the sense 
of continuing. As it is we find it, Until now ; i. e. from the 

N 2 


Aug. time of the creation downwards. AUG. He says then, as it 

s \5 'were, to the Jews, Why think ye that I should not work on 

the sabbath? The sabbath day was instituted as a type d of 

Me. Ye observe the works of God: by Me all things were 

made. The Father made light, but He spoke, that it might 

be made. If He spoke, then He made it by the Word ; and 

I am His Word. My Father worked when He made the 

world, and He worketh until now, governing the world: and 

as He made the world by Me, when He made it, so He 

Chrys. governs it by Me, now He governs it. CHRYS. Christ 

Hom -... defended His disciples, by putting forward the example of 

2. their fellow-servant David: but He defends Himself by a 

reference to the Father. We may observe too that He does 

not defend Himself as man, nor yet purely as God, but 

sometimes as one, sometimes as the other; wishing both to 

be believed, both the dispensation of His humiliation, and the 

dignity of His Godhead; wherefore He shews His equality 

to the Father, both by calling Him His Father emphatically, 

(My Father,) and by declaring that He doeth the same 

things, that the Father doth, (And I work.} Therefore, it 

follows, the Jews sought the more to kill Him, because he 

not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was 

Aug. His Father. AUG. i. e. not in the secondary sense in which 

B. J6. ' it * s true f a ^ f us > but as implying equality. For we all of 

Matt. 6. us say to God, Our Father, Which art in heaven. And the 

Isaiah Jews say, Thou art our Father. They were not angry then 

63, 16. because He called God His Father, but because He called 

Auo;. Him so in a sense different from men. AUG. The words, 

E e v ^ My Father worketh hitherto, and I work, suppose Him to 

x - be equal to the Father. This being understood, it followed 

from the Father's working, that the Son worked: inasmuch 

Chrys. as the Father doth nothing without the Son. CHRYS. Were 

x^xiii. **e not the Son by nature, and of the same substance, this 

s. 3. defence would be worse than the former accusation made. 

For no prefect could clear Himself from a transgression .of 

the king's law, by urging that the king broke it also. But, 

on the supposition of the Son's equality to the Father, the 

defence is valid. It then follows, that as the Father worked 

d Since our everlasting rest, which the sabbath foreshadowed, is in Him. 
see Conf. fin. de Civ. D. xi. 8. &c. 

VER. 19, 20. ST. JOHN. 181 

on the Sabbath without doing wrong: the Son could do so 
likewise. AUG. So, the Jews understood what the AriansAug. 
do not. For the Arians say that the Son is not equal to the s . ig. 
Father, and hence sprang up that heresy which afflicts the 
Church. CHRYS. Those however who are not well-disposed Chrys. 
to this doctrine, do not admit that Christ made Him self xxxv i'ji. 
equal to the Father, but only that the Jews thought He did. 3 - 
But let us consider what has gone before. That the Jews 
persecuted Christ, and that He broke the sabbath, and said 
that God was His Father, is unquestionably true. That 
which immediately follows then from these premises, viz. His 
making Himself equal ivith God, is true also. HILARY. ^ ! ^ r e ' 
The Evangelist here explains why the Jews wished to killTrin. c. 
Him. CHRYS. And again, had it been that our Lord Himself 
did not mean this, but that the Jews misunderstood Him, 
He would not have overlooked their mistake. Nor would 
the Evangelist have omitted to remark upon it, as he does - 11 - 
upon our Lord's speech, Destroy this temple. AUG. The Au g- .. 
Jews however did not understand from our Lord that He s . ie. 
was the Son of God, but only that He was equal with God , 
though Christ gave this as the result of His being the Son of 
God. It is from not seeing this, while they saw at the same 
time that equality was asserted, that they charged Him with 
making Himself equal with God: the truth being, that He 
did not make Himself equal, but the Father had begotten 
Him equal. 

19. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing 
of himself, but what he seeth the Father do : for what 
things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son like 

20. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth 
him all things that himself doeth : and he will shew 
him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 

HILARY. He refers to the charge of violating the sabbath, Hilar. 
brought against Him. My Father worketh hitherto, and If^ c . 
work; meaning that He had a precedent for claiming the 17t 


right He did; and that what He did was in reality His 
Father's doing, who acted in the Son. And to quiet the 
jealousy which had been raised, because by the use of His 
Father's name He had made Himself equal with God, and 
to assert the excellency of His birth and nature, He says, 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of 
Aug. Himself, but what He seeth the Father do. AUG. Some who 
3 r tvm ' would be thought Christians, the Arian heretics, who say that 
the very Son of God who took our flesh upon Him, was in 
ferior to the Father, take advantage of these words to throw 
discredit upon our doctrine, and say, You see that when our 
Lord perceived the Jews to be indignant, because He seemed 
to make Himself equal with God, He gave such an answer 
as shewed that He was not equal. For they say, he who 
can do nothing but what he sees the Father do is not equal 
but inferior to the Father. But if there is a greater God, 
and a less God, (the Word being God,) we worship two 
Hilar. Gods, and not one e . HILARY. Lest then that assertion of 
Tr.c.i7. His equality, which must belong to Him, as by Name and 
Nature the Son, might throw doubt upon His Nativity', 
Aug. He says that the Son can do nothing of Himself . AUG. As 
Tr. xx. ft jj e g^d . why are ye offended that I called God My 
Father, and that I make Myself equal with God? I am 
equal, but equal in such a sense as is consistent with His 
having begotten Me ; with My being from Him, not Him 
from Me. With the Son, being and power are one and the 
same thing. The Substance of the Son then being of the 
Father, the power of the Son is of the Father also: and as the 
Son is not of Himself, so He can not of Himself. The Son 
can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do. 
xxi. 4. His seeing and His being born of the Father are the same. 
His vision is not distinct from His Substance, but the whole 

e This is the answer of the Catholic of His Equality with the Father, and 
to the Arian argument, and is drawn yet that He was the Son, " The Only- 
out more fully in Augustin's text, Begotten God operating by the ope- 
where the Arian blasphemy, that there rations of the power of the Father, and 
was a greater and a lesser God, is said so He wrought that, which He knew 
to savour of Paganism. Nic. in His own intrinsic knowledge that the 

f i. e. left to themselves, people Nature of God the Father, inseparable 

would be vacillating between the from Himself, "Which He possessed 

thought our Lord was not equal to the through His true Nativity, could 

Father or not the Son, and therefore work." S. Hil. 1. c. 
our Lord at once conveys the doctrine 

VEB. 19, 20. ST. JOHN. 183 

together is of the Father. HILARY. That the wholesome Hilar. 
order of our confession, i. e. that we believe in the Father i' d< L 

* a _ JLr.c.1/. 

and the Son, might remain, He shews the nature of His birth ; 

viz. that He derived the power of acting not from an acces 
sion of strength, supplied for each work, but by His own 
knowledge in the first instance. And this knowledge He 
derived not from any particular visible precedents, as if what 
the Father had done, the Son could do afterwards ; but that 
the Son being born of the Father, and consequently conscious 
of the Father's virtue and nature within Him, could do 
nothing but what He saw the Father do : as he here testifies ; 
God does not see by bodily organs, but by the virtue of His 
nature. AUG. If we understand this subordination of the Son Aug. 
to arise from the human nature, it will follow that the Father "' 3 e r * 
walked first upon the water, and did all the other things 
which the Son did in the flesh, in order that the Son might do 
them. Who can be so insane as to think this d ? AUG. Yet Aug. 

Tr xx 

that walking of the flesh upon the sea was done by the Father s> g. 
through the Son. For when the flesh walked, and the 
Divinity of the Son guided, the Father was not absent, as the 
Son Himself saith below, The Father that dwelleth in Me, c. 14. 
He doeth the works. He guards however against the carnal s. 9. 
interpretation of the words, The Son can do nothing of Him- (v. 10.) 
self. As if the case were like that of two artificers, master 
and disciple, one of whom made a chest, and the other made 
another like it, by adding, For whatsoever things he doeth, 
these doeth the Son likewise. He does not say, Whatsoever 
the Father doeth, the Son does other things like them, but 
the very same things. The Father made the world, the Son 
made the world, the Holy Ghost made the world. If the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one, it follows that one 
and the same world was made by the Father, through the 
Son, in the Holy Ghost. Thus it is the very same thing 
that the Son doeth. He adds likewise, to prevent another 
error arising. For the body seems to do the same things 
with the mind, but it does not do them in a like way, inas- 

<* The Son can do nothing of Him- eye, each several act of His done be- 

self, but what He seeth the Father do. forehand by the Father. It follows 

If this arises from His human nature, that the subordination here mentioned 

then He must have seen in His human arises from the Sonship itself of the 

nature, i. e. visibly, with the natural Son's, not from His human nature. 


much as the body is subject, the soul governing, the body 
visible, the soul invisible. When a slave does a thing at the 
command of his master, the same thing is done by both ; 
but is it in a like way ? Now in the Father and Son there 
is not this difference ; they do the same things, and in a like 
way. Father and Son act with the same power ; so that the 
Hilar. Son is equal to the Father. HILARY. Or thus ; All things 
Tnc^s an( * ^ e same > He says, to shew the virtue of His nature, its 
being the same with God's. That is the same nature, which 
can do all the same things. And as the Son does all the 
same things in a like way, the likeness of the works excludes 
the notion of the worker existing alone g . Thus we come to 
a true idea of the Nativity, as our faith receives it: the like 
ness of the works bearing witness to the Nativity, their 
Chrys. sameness to the Nature. CHRYS. Or thus; That the Son 
^^:.. can do nothing of Himself, must be understood to mean, that 
4. He can do nothing contrary to, or displeasing to, the Father. 
And therefore He does not say that He does nothing con 
trary, but that He can do nothing; in order to shew His perfect 
likeness, and absolute equality to the Father. Nor is this a 
sign of weakness in the Son, but rather of goodness. For as 
when we say that it is impossible for God to sin, we do not 
charge Him with weakness, but bear witness to a certain 
ineffable goodness ; so when the Son says, I can do nothing 
of myself, it only means, that He can do nothing contrary to 
Aug. the Father. AUG. This is not a sign of failing in Him, but 
Serm! of His abiding in His birth from the Father. And it is as 

Anano- high an attribute of the Almighty that He does not change, 

(xiv.) as it is that He does not die. The Son could do what He 

had not seen the Father doing, if He could do what the 

Father does not do through Him; i.e. if He could sin: a 

supposition inconsistent with the immutably good nature 

which was begotten from the Father. That He cannot do ; 

this then is to be understood of Him, not in the sense of 

Chrys. deficiency, but of power. CHRYS. And this is confirmed by 

xxxviii. what follows : For whatsoever he doeth, these also doeth the 

Son likewise. For if the Father does all things by Himself, 

u Similitude operum solitudinem things. Yet the very expression" same- 

operantis exclusit.'' Bened. and edd. ness" implies a plurality of Persons. 

i.e. as before, the Son is equal to The Nic. reads similitudinern, which does 

Father, since He doeth all the same not belong to the argument here. 

VER. 19, 20. ST. JOHN. 185 

so does the Son also, if this likewise is to stand good. You 
see how high a meaning these humble words bear. He 
gives His thoughts a humble dress purposely. For when 
ever He expressed Himself loftily, He was persecuted, as an 
enemy of God. AUG. Having said that He did the same Aug. 
things that the Father did, and in a like way, He adds, For^ x 
the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that 
Himself doeth. And sheweth Him all things that Himself 
doeth: this has a reference to the words above ; But what 
He seeth the Father do. But again, our human ideas are 
perplexed, and one may say, So then the Father first does 
something, that the Son may see what He does ; just as an 
artificer teaches his son his art, and shews him what he 
makes, that he may be able to make the same after him. 
On this supposition, when the Father does a thing, the 
Son does not do it ; in that the Son is beholding what His 
Father doeth. But we hold it as a fixed and incontrovertible 
truth, that the Father makes all things through the Son, and 
therefore He must shew them to the Son, before He makes 
them. And where does the Father shew the Son what He 
makes, except in the Son Himself, by whom He makes 
them ? For if the Father makes a thing for a pattern, and 
the Son attends to the workmanship as it goes on, where is 
the indivisibility of the Trinity ? The Father therefore does 
not shew the Son what He doeth by doing it, but by shewing 
doeth it, through the Son. The Son seeth, and the Father 
sheweth, before a thing is made, and from the shewing of the 
Father, and the sqping of the Son, that is made which is 
made; made by the Father, through the Son. But thou wilt 
say, I shew my Son what I wish him to make, and he makes 
it, and I make it through him. True ; but before thou doest 
any thing, thou shewest it to thy son, that he may do it for 
thy example, and thou by him ; but thou speakest to thy 
son words which are not thyself; whereas the Son Himself is 
the Word of the Father; and could He speak by the Word to 
the Word ? Or, because the Son was the great Word, were 
lesser words to pass between the Father and the Son, or a 
certain sound and temporary creation, as it were, to go out of 
the mouth of the Father, and strike the ear of the Son? Put 
away these bodily notions, and if thou art simple, see the 


truth in simplicity. If thou canst not comprehend what 
God is, comprehend at least what He is not. Thou wilt 
have advanced no little way, if thou thinkest nothing that is 
untrue of God. See what I am saying exemplified in thine 
own mind. Thou hast memory, and thought, thy memory 
sheweth to thy thought Carthage: before thou perceivest 
what is in her, she sheweth it to thought, which is turned 
toward her: the memory then hath shewn, the thought hath 
perceived, and no words have passed between them, no 
outward sign been used. But whatever is in thy memory, 
thou receivest from without: that which the Father sheweth 
to the Son, He doth not receive from without; the whole 
goes on within ; there being no creature existing without, 
but what the Father hath made by the Son. And the Father 
maketh by shewing, in that He maketh by the Son who 
sees. The Father's shewing begets the Son's seeing, as the 
Father begets the Son ? Shewing begets seeing, not seeing 
shewing. But it would be more correct, and more spiritual, 
not to view the Father as distinct from His shewing, or the 
Hiiar. Son from His seeing. HILARY. It must not be supposed 
Trin.c. ^ at l ^ e O n ty Begotten God needed such shewing on account 
19. of ignorance. For the shewing here is only the doctrine of 
the nativity "; the self-existing Son, from the self-existing 
u - . Father. AUG. For to see the Father is to see His Son. The 
Father so shews all His works to the Son, that the Son sees 
them from the Father 1 . For the birth of the Son is in His 
seeing: He sees from the same source, from which He is, 
Hilar. and is born, and remains. HILARY. Nor did the heavenly 
Trin^c. discourse lack the caution, to guard against our inferring 
19- from these words any difference in the nature of the Son and 
the Father. For He says that the works of the Father were 
shewn to Him, not that strength was supplied Him for the 
doing of them, in order to teach that this shewing is sub 
stantially nothing else than His birth ; for that simultaneously 
with the Son Himself is born the Son's knowledge of the 
Aug. works the Father will do through Him. AUG. But now from 
s.5. XX1 'Him whom we called coeternal with the Father, who saw 

h i. e. implying another person (who * i. e. not looking toward the Father, 

shews) who is the author : first in order but from Him ; i. e. being in the Father 

of succession, i. e. the Father. It is at the time. 
explained by the Aug. following. 

VER. 21 23. ST. JOHN. 187 

the Father, and existed in that He saw, we return to the 
things of time, And He will shew him greater works than 
these. But if He will shew him, i. e. is about to shew him, 
He hath not yet shewn him: and when He does shew him, 
others also will see ; for it follows, That ye may believe. It Tr. xix. 
is difficult to see what the eternal Father can shew in time 
to the coeternal Son, Who knows all that exists within the 
Father's mind. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and 
quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He 
will. To raise the dead was a greater work than to heal the 
sick. But this is explained by consideriug that He Who 
a little before spoke as God, now begins to speak as man. 
As man, and therefore living in time, He will be shewn 
greater works in time. Bodies will rise again by the human 
dispensation by which the Son of God assumed manhood 
in time; but souls by virtue of the eternity of the Divine 
Substance. For which reason it was said before that the 
Father loved the Son, and shewed Him what things soever 
He did. For the Father shews the Son that souls are raised 
up; for they are raised up by the Father and the Son, even 
as they cannot live, except God give them life. Or the Tr. xxi. 
Father is about to shew this to us, not to Him; according to 
what follows, That ye may believe. This being the reason 
why the Father would shew Him greater things than these. 
But why did He not say, shall shew you, instead of the 
Son? Because we are members of the Son, and He, as it 
were, learns in His members, even as He suffers in us. For 
as He says, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the Matt. 
least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me: so, if ' 
we ask Him, how He, the Teacher of all things, learns, He 
replies, When one of the least of My brethren learns, I learn. 

21. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and 
quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom 
he will. 

22. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath com 
mitted all judgment unto the Son: 

23. That all men should honour the Son, even as 


they honour the Father. He that honoureth not 
the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent 

Aug. AUG. Having said that the Father would shew the Son 
s /5 X 6 / greater works than these, He proceeds to describe these 
greater works: For as (he Father raiseth up the dead, and 
quickeneth them, even so the Son qnickenelh whom He will. 
These are plainly greater works, for it is more of a miracle 
that a dead man should rise again, than that a sick man 
should recover. We must not understand from the words, 
that some are raised by the Father, others by the Son ; but 
that the Son raises to life the same whom the Father raiseth. 
And to guard against any one saying, The Father raises the 
dead by the Son, the former by His own power, the latter, like 
an instrument, by another power, He asserts distinctly the 
power of the Son : T7ie Son quickeneth whom he will. Observe 
here not only the power of the Son, but also His will. Father 
and Son have the same power and will. The Father willeth 
nothing distinct from the Son; but both have the same will, 
Hilar. even as they have the same substance. HILARY. For to will is 
vH.c!l9' the free power of a nature, which by the act of choice, resteth 
Aug. in the blessedness of perfect excellence. AUG. But who are 
Ju** 1 ' these dead, whom the Father and Son raise to life? He 
alludes to the general resurrection which is to be; not to the 
resurrection of those few, who were raised to life, that the 
rest might believe; as Lazarus, who rose again, to die 
afterwards. Having said then, For as the Father raiseth up 
the dead, and quickeneth them, to prevent our taking the 
words to refer to the dead whom He raised up for the sake 
of the miracle, and not to the resurrection to life eternal, 
He adds, For the Father judgeth no man ; thus shewing that 
He spoke of that resurrection of the dead which would take 
Tr.xxiii. place at the judgment. Or the words, As the Father raiseth 
up the dead, fyc. refer to the resurrection of the soul; For the 
Father judyeth no man, but hath committed all judgment 
unto the Son, to the resurrection of the body. For the 
resurrection of the soul takes place by the substance of the 

VER. 21 23. ST. JOHN. 189 

Father and the Son k , and therefore it is the work of the Father 
and the Son together: but the resurrection of the body takes 
place by a dispensation of the Son's humanity, which is a 
temporal dispensation, and not coeternal with the Father. 
But see how the Word of Christ leads the mind in different Tr. xxi. 
directions, not allowing it any carnal resting place ; but by 8 ' ' 
variety of motion exercising it, by exercise purifying it, by 
purifying enlarging its capacity, and after enlarging filling 
it. He said just before that the Father shewed what things 
soever He did to the Son. So I saw, as it were, the Father 
working, and the Son waiting: now again 1 see the Son 
working, the Father resting. AUG. For this, viz. that the Aug. 
Father hath given all judgment unto the Son, does not mean^ e ^ nn< 
that He begat the Son with this attribute, as is meant in the (xiii.) 
words, So hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself. 
For if so, it would not be said, The Father judgeth no man, 
because, in that the Father begat the Son equal, He judgeth 
with the Son. What is meant is, that in the judgment, not 
the form of God but the form of the Son of man will appear; 
not because He will not judge Who hath given all judgment 
to the Son; since the Son says of Him below, There is onec. 19. 
that seeketh and judgeth, but the Father judgeth no man; 
i. e. no one will see Him in the judgment, but all will see 
the Son, because He is the Son of man, even the ungodly 
who will look on Him Whom they pierced. HILARY. Having zech. 
said that the Son quickenetli whom He will, in order that ^:, 
we might not lose sight of the nativity, and think that He de Trin. 
stood upon the ground of His own unborn power, He im- vll ' c ' 20 ' 
mediately adds, For the Father judgelh no man, but hath 
given all judgment unto the Son. In that all judgment is 
given to Him, both His nature, and His nativity are shewn; 
because only a self-existent nature can possess all things, 
and nativity cannot have any thing, except what is given it. 
CHKYS. As He gave Him life, i. e. begot Him living; so He Chrys. 
gave Him judgment, i. e. begot Him a judge. Gave, it i 
said, that thou mayest not think Him unbegotten, and imagine 1- 

k For the soul becomes blessed from that which is inferior to itself, i e. the 

partaking of God, not from partaking body ; so the soul again cannot be 

of another blessed soul, nor by partaking endowed with heavenly life, but by 

in any Angelic nature. For as the Him who is superior to the soul, even 

soul being inferior to God gains life to God. 


two Fathers: All judgment, because He has the awarding 
Hilar. both of punishment and reward. HILARY. All judgment is 
Trin. c. given to Him, because He quickens whom He will. Nor can 
20> the judgment be looked on as taken away from the Father, 
inasmuch as the cause of His not judging is, that the judg 
ment of the Son is His. For all judgment is given from the 
Father. And the reason for which He gives it, appears im 
mediately after: That all men may honour the Son even as 
Chrys. ff te y j tonour the Father. CHRYS. For, lest you should infer 
xxxix. from hearing that the Author of His power was the Father, 
any difference of substance, or inequality of honour, He 
connects the honour of the Son with the honour of the Father, 
shewing that both have the same. But shall men then call 
Him the Father ? God forbid; he who calls Him the Father, 
does not honour the Son equally with the Father, but confounds 
Aug. both. AUG. First indeed, the Son appeared as a servant, and 

x \ i. 8. 

is. ' the Father was honoured as God. But the Son will be seen 
to be equal to the Father, that all men may honour the 
1 ref. not Son, even as they honour the Father. *But what if persons 
found are fomj^ w h o honour the Father, and do not honour the 
Son ? It cannot be : He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth 
not the Father ivhich hath sent Him. It is one thing to 
acknowledge God, as God; and another to acknowledge 
Him as the Father. When thou acknowledgest God the 
Creator, thou acknowledgest an almighty, supreme, eternal, 
invisible, immutable Spirit. When thou acknowledgest the 
Father, thou dost in reality acknowledge the Son ; for He 
could not be the Father, had He not the Son. But if thou 
honour the Father as greater, the Son as less, so far as thou 
givest less honour to the Son, thou takest away from the 
honour of the Father. For thou in reality thinkest that the 
Father could not or would not beget the Son equal to 
Himself; which if He would not do, He was envious, if He 
Tr.xxiii. could not, He was weak. Or, That all men should honour 
s 13> the Son even as they honour the Father; has a reference to 
the resurrection of souls, which is the work of the Son, as 
well as of the Father. But the resurrection of the body is 
meant in what comes after: He that honoureth not the Son, 
honoureth not the Father that sent Him. Here is no as; 
the man Christ is honoured, but not as the Father Who sent 

VER. 24. ST. JOHN. 191 

Him, since with respect to His manhood He Himself saith, 
My Father is greater than I. But some one will say, Tr. xxi. 
if the Son is sent by the Father, He is inferior to the Father. 8 * 
Leave thy fleshly actions, and understand a mission, not a 
separation. Human things deceive, divine things make 
clear; although even human things give testimony against 
thee, e. g. if a man offers marriage to a woman, and cannot 
obtain her by himself, he sends a friend, greater than himself, 
to urge his suit for him. But see the difference in human 
things. A man does not go with him whom he sends ; but 
the Father Who sent the Son, never ceased to be with the 
Son; as we read, [am not alone, but the Father is with Me. c. 21. 
AUG. It is not, however, as being born of the Father, that Aug. 
the Son is said to be sent, but from His appearing in this l ^' T -^ c 
world, as the Word made flesh ; as He says, / went forth 28. (xx.) 
from the Father, and am come into the world : or from His 2 g 
being received into our minds individually, as we read 1 , Send 
her, that she may be with me, and may labour with me. 
HILARY. The conclusion then stands good against all the Hilar. 
fury of heretical minds. He is the Son, because He does 
nothing of Himself: He is God, because, whatsoever things 21. 
the Father doeth, He doeth the same; They are one, because 
They are equal in honour: He is not the Father, because He 
is sent. 

24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth 
my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath 
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation ; 
but is passed from death unto life. 

GLOSS. Having said that the Son quickeneth whom He 
will, He next shews that we attain to life through the Son: 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and 
believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life. AUG. If Aug 
in hearing and believing is eternal life, how much more in 
understanding? But the step to our piety is faith, the fruit 
of faith, understanding. It is not, Believeth on Me, but on 
Him that sent Me. Why is one to hear His word, and believe 
another ? Is it not that He means to say, His word is in 

1 Wisd. 9, 10. The Vulgate is : Mitte illam ut mecum sit, et mecum laboret. 


Me ? And what is, Heareth My word, but heareth Me ? And 

it is, Belicveth on Him that sent Me; as to say, He that 

believeth on Him, believeth on His Word, i. e. on Me, because 

Chrys. j am the Word of the Father. CHRYS. Or, He did not say, 

xxxix. He that heareth My words, and believeth on Me ; as they 

2 - would have thought this empty boasting and arrogance. 

To say, Believeth on Him that sen! Me, was a better way of 

making His discourse acceptable. To this end He says two 

things: one, that he who hears Him, believes on the Father; 

the other, that he who hears and believes shall not come into 

Aug. condemnation. AUG. But who is this favoured Person ? Will 

s4 [ et 'there be anyone better than the Apostle Paul, who says, 

1 Cor. 6. We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ? 

Now judgment sometimes means punishment, sometimes 

trial. In the sense of trial, we must all appear before the 

judgment-seat of Christ : in the sense of condemnation we 

read, some shall not come into judgment ; i. e. shall not be 

condemned. It follows, but is passed from death into life: 

not, is now passing, but hath passed from the death of 

unbelief, into the life of faith, from the death of sin, unto the 

life of righteousness. Or, it is so said perhaps, to prevent 

our supposing that faith would save us from bodily death, 

that penalty which we must pay for Adam's transgression. 

He, in whom we all then were, heard the divine sentence, 

Gen. 2. Thou shall surely die ; nor can we evade it. But when we 

have suffered the death of the old man, we shall receive the 

life of the new, and by death make a passage to life. 

Tr. xix. But to what life ? To life everlasting : the dead shall rise 

again at the end of the world, and enter into everlasting life. 

Tr.xxii. For this life does not deserve the name of life ; only 

Aug. that life is true which is eternal. AUG. We see the lovers of 

P^ rb< this present transitory life so intent on its welfare, that when 

Serm. in danger of death, they will take any means to delay its 

approach, though they can not hope to drive it off altogether. 

If so much care and labour then is spent on gaining a little 

additional length of life^- how ought we to strive after life 

eternal ? And if they are thought wise, who endeavour in 

every way to put off death, though they can live but a few 

days longer ; how foolish are they who so live, as to lose the 

eternal day ? 

VER. 25, 20. ST. JOHN V 193 

25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is 
coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the 
voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall 

26. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath 
he given to the Son to have life in himself. 

AUG. Some one might ask thee, The Father quickeneth Aug. 
him who believes on Him; but what of thee ? dost thou not s . 14. 
quicken ? Observe thou that the Son also quickens whom 
He will : Verily, verily ', / say unto you, The hour is coming, 
and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of 
God; and they that hear shall live. CHRYS. After, 

hour cotneth, He adds, and now is ; to let us know that it xxx i x> 2. 
will not be long before it comes. For as in the future resur 
rection we shall be roused by hearing His voice speaking to 
us, so is it now. THEOPHYL. Here He speaks with a refer 
ence to those whom He was about to raise from the dead : 
viz. the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue, the son of 
the widow, and Lazarus. AUG. Or, He means to guard4ug. 
against our thinking, that the being passed from death to s . 12. 
life, refers to the future resurrection ; its meaning being, that 
he who believes is passed : and therefore He says, Verily, 
verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, (what hour?) and 
now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of 
God, and they that hear shall live. He saith not, because 
they live, they hear; but in consequence of hearing, they 
come to life again. But what is hearing, but obeying? For 
they who believe and do according to the true faith, live, and 
are not dead ; whereas those who believe not, or, believing, 
live a bad life, and have not love, are rather to be accounted 
dead. And yet that hour is still going on, and will go on, 
the same hour, to the end of the world : as John says, It is* J . ohl1 
the last hour. AUG. When the dead, i. e. unbelievers, shall 
hear the voice of the Son of God, i. e. the Gospel : and they 
that hear, i. e. who obey, shall live, i. e. be justified, and no 
longer remain in unbelief. AUG. But some one will ask, Au &- 
Hath the Son life, whence those who believe will live ? . 9. 
Hear His own words : As the Father hath life in Himself, so 



hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself. Life is 
original and absolute in Him, cometh from no other source, 
dependeth on no other power. He is not as if He were partaker 
of a life, which is not Himself; but has life in Himself: so 
as that He Himself is His own life. Hear, O dead soul, the 
Father, speaking by the Son : arise, that thou mayest receive 
that life which thou hast not in thyself, and enter into the 
first resurrection. For this life, which the Father and the 
Son are, pertaineth to the soul, and is not perceived by the 
body. The rational mind only discovers the life of wisdom. 
HILARY. The heretics, driven hard by Scripture proofs, are 
obliged to attribute to the Son at any rate a likeness, in 
respect of virtue, to the Father. But they do not admit a 
likeness of nature, not being able to see that a likeness of 
virtue, could not arise but from a likeness of nature ; as an 
inferior nature can never attain to the virtue of a higher and 
better one. And it cannot be denied that the Son of God 
has the same virtue with the Father, when He says, What 
things soever (the Father) doeth, the same doeth the Son 
likewise. But an express mention of the likeness of nature 
follows : As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given 
to the Son to have life in Himself. In life are comprehended 
nature and essence. And the Son, as He hath it, so hath He 
it given to Him. For the same which is life in both, is 
essence in both ; and the life, i. e. essence, which is begotten 
from life, is born ; though not born unlike the other. For, 
being life from life, it remains like in nature to its origin. 
An?. AUG. The Father must he understand not to have given life 
Tri n e to the Son, who was existing without life, but so to have 
c. 47. begotten Him, independently of time, that the life which He 
L gave Him in begetting, was coeternal with His own. HILARY. 
vii. de Living born from living, hath the perfection of nativity, 
c 27 28 without the newness of nature. For there is nothing new 
implied in generation from living to living, the life not 
coming at its birth from nothing. And the life which derives 
its birth from life, must by the unity of nature, and the 
sacrament of a perfect birth, both be in the living being, 
and have the being who lives it, in itself. Weak human 
nature indeed is made up of unequal elements, and brought 
to life out of inanimate matter; nor does the human offspring 

VER. 27 29. ST. JOHN. 195 

live for some time after it is begotten. Neither does it 
wholly live from life, since much grows up in it insensi 
bly, and decays insensibly. But in the case of God, the 
whole of what He is, lives: for God is life, and from life, can 
nothing be but what is living. AUG. Given to the Son, then, Au s- 
has the meaning of, begat the Son; for He gave Him the s . 10. 
life, by begetting. As He gave Him being, so He gave Him 
to have life in Himself; so that the Son did not stand in 
need of life to come to Him from without ; but was in Himself 
the fulness of life, whence others, i. e. believers, received 
their life. What then is the difference between Them? 
This, that one gave, the other received. CHRYS The like- Chrys. 
ness is perfect in all but one respect, viz. that, in point of X xxi*. 
essence, one is the Father, the other the Son. HILARY. For 3 - 
the person of the receiver, is distinct from that of the giver: 
it being inconceivable that one and the same person, should 
give to and receive from Himself. He who lives of Himself 
is one person : He who acknowledges an Author of His life 
is another. 

27. And hath given him authority to execute judg 
ment also, because he is the Son of man. 

28. Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in 
the which all that are in the graves shall hear his 

29. And shall come forth; they that have done 
good, unto the resurrection of life ; and they that have 
done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. 

THEOPHYL. The Father granted the Son power not only 
to give life, but also to execute judgment. And hath given 
Him authority to execute judgment. CHRYS. But why does Chrys. 
He dwell so constantly on these subjects; judgment, resur- Hon ?- 
rection, and life ? Because these are the most powerful s. 3. 
arguments for bringing men over to the faith, and the most 
likely ones to prevail with obstinate hearers. For one who 
is persuaded that he shall rise again, and be called by the 
Son to account for his misdeeds, will, though he know 
nothing more than this, be anxious to propitiate his Judge. 

o 2 


It follows, Because He is the Son of man, marvel not at this. 
Paul of Samosata reads it, Hath given Him power to execute 
judgment also, because He is the Son of man. But this con 
nexion has no meaning ; for He does not receive the power 
to judge because He is man, (as, on this supposition, what 
would prevent all men from being judges :) but because He 
is the ineffable Son of God ; therefore is He Judge. We 
must read it then, Because He is the Son of man, marvel 
not at this. As Christ's hearers thought him a mere man, 
and as what He asserted of Himself was too high to be true 
of men, or even angels, or any being short of God Himself, 
there was a strong obstacle in the way of their believing, 
which our Lord notices in order to remove it : Marvel not, 
He says, that He is the Son of man : and then adds the 
reason why they should not marvel : For the hour is coming, 
in the which all that are in the graves shall hear the voice 
of the Son of God. And why did He not say, Marvel not 
that He is the Son of man : because in truth He is the Son 
of God ? Because, having given out that it was He who 
should raise men from the dead, the resurrection being a 
strictly divine work, He leaves His hearers to infer that He is 
God, and the Son of God. Persons in arguing often do this. 
When they have brought out grounds amply sufficient to 
prove the conclusion they want, they do not draw that con 
clusion themselves ; but, to make the victory greater, leave 
the opponent to draw it. In referring above to the resurrec 
tion of Lazarus and the rest, he said nothing about judgment, 
for Lazarus did not rise again for judgment; whereas now, 
that He is speaking of the general resurrection, He brings in 
the mention of the judgment: And (they] shall come forth, He 
says, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, 
and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damna 
tion. Having said above, He that heareth My words, and 
believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life ; that 
men might not suppose from this, that belief was sufficient 
for salvation, He proceeds to speak of works : And they that 
Aug. have done good, and they that have done evil. AUG. Or 
Tr.xxii. th us: Inasmuch as the Word was in the beginning with God,,ii! the Father gave Him to have life in Himself; but inasmuch 
as the Word was made flesh of the Virgin Mary, being made 

VER. 27 29. ST. JOHN. 197 

man, He became the Son of man : and as the Son of man, 
He received power to execute judgment at the end of the 
world ; at which time the bodies of the dead shall rise again. 
The souls then of the dead God raises by Christ the Son of 
God; their bodies by the same Christ, the Son of man. 
Wherefore He adds, Because He is the Son of man: for, as 
to the Son of God, He always had the power. AUG. At the Aug. 
judgment will appear the form of man, that form will judge, D e om er ' 
which was judged ; He will sit a Judge Who stood before the Ser - 64 
judge ; He will condemn the guilty, Who was condemned 
innocent. For it is proper that the judged should see their 
Judge. Now the judged consist of both good and bad; so 
that the form of the servant will be shewn to good and bad 
alike ; the form of God to the good only. Blessed are the Matt. 5, 
pure in heart, for they shall see God. AUG. None if the A ' ug> 
founders of false religious sects have been able to deny the Tr - xi *. 
resurrection of the soul, but many have denied the resur 
rection of the body; and, unless Thou, Lord Jesus, hadst 
declared it, what answer could we give the gainsayer? To 
set forth this truth, He says, Marvel not at this ; (i. e. that 
He hath given power to the Son of man to execute judgment,) 
for the hour is coming, fyc. AUG. He does not add, And^ u & 
now is, here ; because this hour would be at the end of the Dom. 
world. Marvel not, i. e. marvel not, men will all be judged Ser ' 64> 
by a man. But what men ? Not those only, whom He will 
find alive, For the hour cometh, in which all that are in their 
graves shall hear His voice. AUG. What can be plainer ? Aug. 
Men's bodies are in their graves, not their souls. Above j an. 
when He said, The hour cometh, and added, and now is ; Tr 1 ' 7 x 1 i ^ < 
He proceeds, When the dead shall hear the voice of the 
Son of God. He does not say, All the dead ; for by the 
dead are meant the wicked, and the wicked have not all 
been brought to obey the Gospel- But in the end of the 
world all that are in their graves shall hear His voice, and 
come forth. He does not say, Shall live, as He said above, 
when He spoke of the eternal and blessed life ; which all 
will not have, who shall come forth from their graves. This 
judgment was committed to Him because He was the Son 
of man. But what takes place in this judgment? They that 
have done good shall go unto the resurrection of life, i. e. to 


live with the Angels of God ; they that have done evil unto 
the resurrection of judgment. Judgment here meaning 

30. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I 

judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not 

mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath 

sent me. 

Aug. AUG. We were about to ask Christ, Thou wilt iudge, and 

Tr. xix. 

8 . i9. the Father not judge: wilt not Thou then judge according to 
the Father ? He anticipates us by saying, / can of Mine 

Chrys. own Self do nothing. CHRYS. That is, nothing that is a 
departure from, or that is unlike to, what the Father wishes, 
shall ye see done by Me, but as I hear, I judge. He is only 
shewing that it was impossible He should ever wish any 
thing but what the Father wished. I judge, His meaning 
is, as if it were My Father that judged. AUG. When He 

s. is. spoke of the resurrection of the soul, He did not say, Hear, 

v. 19. but, See. Hear implies a command issuing from the Father. 

Aug. He speaks as man, who is inferior to the Father. AUG. 

contr. As I hear, I judge, is said with reference either to His 

Arrian. human subordination, as the Son of man, or to that immu- 


table and simple nature of the Sonship derived from the 

Father; in which nature hearing and seeing is identical 

ut sup. with being. Wherefore as He hears, He judges. The Word 

c. rvii. | g b e g 0tten one w j t h t ]j e Father, and therefore judges ac- 

c. xvii. cording to truth. It follows, And My judgment is just, 

because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father 

which hath sent Me. This is intended to take us back to 

sc. Adam. ^^ man who, by seeking his own will, not the will of Him 

who made him, did not judge himself justly, but had a just 

judgment pronounced upon him. He did not believe that, 

by doing his own will, not God's, he should die. So he did 

his own will, and died; because the judgment of God is 

just, which judgment the Son of God executes, by not seeking 

His own will, i. e. His will as being the Son of man. Not 

that He has no will in judging, but His will is not His own 

Aug. in such sense, as to be different from the Father's. AUG. 

3/9 X1X 'I seek not then Mine own will, i. e. the will of the Son of 

man, in opposition to God : for men do their own will, not 

VER. 31 40. ST. JOHN. 199 

God's, when, to do what they wish, they violate God's com 
mands. But when they so do what they wish, as at the 
same time to follow the will of God, they do not their own 
will. Or, I seek not Mine own will: i. e. because I am not 
of myself, but of the Father. CHRYS. He shews that the Chrys. 
Father's will is not a different one from His own, but one and xx\\x.4. 
the same, as a ground of defence. Nor marvel if being 
hitherto thought no more than a mere man, He defends 
Himself in a somewhat human way, and shews his judgment 
to be just on the same ground which any other person would 
have taken; viz. that one who has his own ends in view, 
may incur suspicion of injustice, but that one who has not 
cannot. AUG. The only Son says, / seek not Mine own Aug. 
will: and yet men wish to do their own will. Let us do the 
will of the Father, Christ, and Holy Ghost : for these have 
one will, power, and majesty. 

31. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not 

32. There is another that beareth witness of me; 
and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me 
is true. 

33. Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto 
the truth. 

34. But I receive not testimony from man : but 
these things I say, that ye might be saved. 

35. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye 
were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. 

36. But I have greater witness than that of John : 
for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, 
the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the 
Father hath sent me. 

37. And the Father himself, which hath sent me, 
hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his 
voice at any time, nor seen his shape. 

38. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for 
whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. 

39. Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye 


have eternal life : and they are they which testify of 

40. And ye will not come to me, that ye might 
have life. 

Chrys. CERTS. He now brings proof of those high declarations 
ri' respecting Himself. He answers an objection : If I bear 
witness of Myself , My witness is not true. These are Christ's 
own words. But does not Christ in many places bear witness 
of Himself? And if all this is false, where is our hope of 
salvation ? Whence shall we obtain truth, when the Truth 
Itself says, My witness is not true. We must believe then 
that true, here, is said, not with reference to the intrinsic 
value of His testimony, but to their suspicions ; for the Jews 
might say, We do not believe Thee, because no one who bears 
witness to himself is to be depended on. In answer then, 
he puts forth three clear and irrefragable proofs, three wit 
nesses as it were, to the truth of what He had said ; the works 
which He had done, the testimony of the Father, and the 
preaching of John: putting the least of these foremost, i. e. 
the preaching of John : There is another that beareth wit- 
ness of Me: and I know that the witness which he witnesseth 
Aug. of Me is true. AUG. He knew Himself that His witness 
DonTs ^ Himself was true, but in compassion to the weak and 
43. unbelieving, the Sun sought for candles, that their weak sight 
might not be dazzled by His full blaze. And therefore John 
was brought forward to give his testimony to the tnith. Not 
that there is such testimony really, for whatever witnesses 
bear witness to Him, it is really He who bears witness to 
Himself; as it is His dwelling in the witnesses, which moves 
them so to give their witness to the truth. ALCDIN. Or 
thus; Christ, being both God and man, He shews the proper 
existence of both, by sometimes speaking according to the 
nature he took from man, sometimes according to the majesty 
of the Godhead. If I bear witness of Myself,, My witness is 
not true: this is to be understood of His humanity; the sense 
being, If 2, & man, bear witness of Myself, i. e. without 
God, My witness is not true : and then follows, There is another 
that beareth witness of Me. The Father bore witness of 
Christ, by the voice which was heard at the baptism, and at 

VER. 31 40. ST. JOHN. 201 

the transfiguration on the mount. And I know that His wit 
ness is true; because He is the God of truth. How then 
can His witness be otherwise than true? CHRYS. But ac-chrys. 
cording to the former interpretation, they might say to Him, ^^' 
If Thy witness is not true, how sayest Thou, I know that the 
witness of John is true ? But His answer meets the objec 
tion: Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness of the truth: 
as if to say : Ye would not have sent to John, if ye had not 
thought him worthy of credit. And what is more remarkable, 
they did send to him, not to ask Him about Christ, but 
about himself. For they who were sent out did not say, What 
sayest thou of Christ? but, Who art thou? what sayest thou c . \ } 22. 
of thyself? In so great admiration did they hold him. 
ALCUIN. But he bore witness not to himself, but to the truth: 
as the friend of the truth, he bore witness to the truth, i. e. 
Christ. Our Lord, on His part, does not reject the witness 
of John, as not being necessary, but shews only that men 
ought not to give such attention to John as to forget that 
Christ's witness was all that was necessary to Himself. 
But I receive not, He says, testimony from men. BEDE. 
Because I do not want it. John, though he bore witness, did 
it not that Christ might increase, but that men might be 
brought to the knowledge of Him. CHRYS. Even the witness chrys. 
of John was the witness of God : for what he said, God Horn. 

xl 2 

taught him. But to anticipate their asking how it appeared 
that God taught John, as if the Jews had objected that 
John's witness might not be true, our Lord anticipates them 
by saying, " Ye sought him yourselves to enquire of him; 
that is why I use his testimony, for I need it not." He adds, 
But these things I say that ye might be saved. As if He 
said, I being God, needed not this human kind of testimony. 
But, since ye attend more to him, and think him more worthy 
of credit than any one else, while ye do not believe me, though 
I work miracles; for this cause I remind you of his testimony. 
But had they not received John's testimony ? Before they 
have time to ask this, He answers it: He was a burning and 
a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoice 
in his light. He says this to shew, how lightly they had held 
by John, and how soon they had left him, thus preventing 
him from leading them to Christ. He calls him a candle, 


because John had not his light from himself, but from the 
grace of the Holy Spirit. ALCUIN. John was a candle lighted 
by Christ, the Light, burning with faith and love, shining in 
word and deed. He was sent before, to confound the enemies 
Ps. 131. of Christ, according to the Psalm, I have ordained a lantern/or 
Mine Anointed; as for His enemies, I shall clothe them with 
Chrys. shame. CHRYS. I therefore direct you to John, not because 
xi. 2. Iwanthistestimony,butthatyemaybesaved: fan I have greater 
witness than that of John , i. e. that of my works; The works 
which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works 
that I do bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me. 
ALCUIN. That He enlightens the blind, that He opens the 
deaf ear, looses the mouth of the dumb, casts out devils, 
Hilar. raises the dead ; these works bear witness of Christ, HILARY. 
Trin. c. The Only -begotten God shews Himself to be the Son, on 
2 ?- the testimony not of man only, but of His own power. The 
works which He does, bear witness to His being sent from 
the Father. Therefore the obedience of the Son and the 
authority of the Father are set forth in Him who was sent. 
But the testimony of works not being sufficient evidence, 
it follows, And the Father Himself which hath sent Me, 
hath borne witness of Me. Open the Evangelic volumes, 
and examine their whole range : no testimony of the Father 
to the Son is given in any of the books, other than that He 
is the Son. So what a calumny is it in men now saying 
that this is only a name of adoption: thus making God 
Bede. a liar, and names unmeaning. BEDE. By His mission we 
v oan 'must understand His incarnation. Lastly, He shews that 
God is incorporeal, and cannot be seen by the bodily eye: 
Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His 
shape. ALCUIN. The Jews might say, We heard the voice 
of the Lord at Sinai, and saw Him under the appearance of 
fire. If God then bears witness of Thee, we should know 
His voice. To which He replies, I have the witness of the 
Father, though ye understand it not; because ye never heard 
^ s v i ce or savv His shape. CHRYS. How then says Moses, 

m Alcuin literally, John bore witness if lighted from himself, but lighted by 

of Christ, like a candle, not in order to Christ. The words in the text are taken 

heal his friends, but to confound his from an interlineary gloss and a sermon 

enemies .... John was not a candle, as of St Bernard on John. Nic. 

VEB. 3140. ST. JOHN. 203 

Ask whether there hath been any such thing as this great Dent. 4, 
thing is: did ever people hear the voice of God, speaking out ' ' 
of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard and seen ? Isaiah 
too, and many others, are said to have seen Him. So what 
does Christ mean here? He means to impress upon them 
the philosophical doctrine, that God has neither voice, 
or appearance, or shape; but is superior to such modes of 
speaking of Him. For as in saying, Ye have never heard 
His voice. He does not mean to say that He has a voice, only 
not an audible one to them; so when He says, Nor have even 
His shape, no tangible, sensible, or visible shape is implied to 
belong to God: but all such mode of speaking is pronounced 
inapplicable to God. ALCUIN. For it is not by the carnal 
ear, but by the spiritual understanding, through the grace of 
the Holy Spirit, that God is heard. And they did not hear 
the spiritual voice, because they did not love or obey Him, 
nor saw they His shape; inasmuch as that is not to be seen 
by the outward eye, but by faith and love. CHRYS. But it Chrys. 
was impossible for them to declare that they had received, 3> or 
and obeyed God's commands: and therefore He adds, Ye 
have not His word abiding in you; i. e. the commandments, 
the law, and the prophets; though God instituted them, ye 
have them not. For if the Scriptures every where tell you to 
believe on Me, and ye believe not, it is manifest that His 
word is gone from you: For whom He hath sent, Him ye 
believe not. ALCUIN. Or thus; they cannot have abiding in 
them the Word which w r as in the beginning, who came not to 
keep in mind, or fulfil in practice, that word of God which 
they hear. Having mentioned the testimonies of John, and 
the Father, and of His works, He adds now that of the 
Mosaic Law: Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye 
have eternal life; and they are they which testify of 
Me: as if He said, Ye think ye have eternal life in the 
Scriptures, and reject Me as being opposed to Moses: but 
you will find that Moses himself testifies to My being God, 
if you search the Scripture carefully. All Scripture indeed 
bears witness of Christ, whether by its types, or by prophets, 
or by the ministering of Angels. But the Jews did not 
believe these intimations of Christ, and therefore could not 
obtain eternal life: Ye will not come to Me, that ye may 


have life; meaning, The Scriptures bear witness of Me, 

but ye will not come to Me notwithstanding, i. e. ye will 

not believe on Me, and seek for salvation at My hands. 

Chrys. CHRYS. Or the connection may be given thus. They might 

3. say to Him, How, if we have never heard God's voice, has 

God borne witness to you ? So He says, Search the Scriptures; 

meaning that God had borne witness of Him by the Scriptures. 

He had borne witness indeed at the Jordan, and on the 

mount. But they did not hear the voice on the mount, and 

did not attend to it at the Jordan. Wherefore He sends 

them to the Scriptures, when they would also find the 

Horn. Father's testimony. He did not send them however to 

the Scriptures simply to read them, but to examine them 

attentively, because Scripture ever threw a shade over its 

own meaning, and did not display it on the surface. The 

treasure was, as it were, hidden from their eye. Pie does 

not say, For in them ye have eternal life, but, For in them ye 

think ye have eternal life ; meaning that they did not reap 

much fruit from the Scriptures, thinking, as they did, that 

they should be saved by the mere reading of them, without 

faith. For which reason He adds, Ye will not come to Me ; 

Bede. i. e. ye will not believe on Me. BEDE. That coming is put 

Joan. f r believing we know, Come unto Him, and be lightened. 

Ps. 33. He adds, That ye might have life; For, if the soul which 

sinneth dies, they were dead in soul and mind. And therefore 

He promises the life of the soul, i. e. eternal happiness. 

41. I receive not honour from men. 

42. But I know you, that ye have not the love of 
God in you. 

43. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive 
me not : if another shall come in his own name, him 
ye will receive. 

44. How can ye believe, which receive honour one 
of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from 
God only? 

45. Do not think that I will accuse you to the 

n Vulg. They had an eye unto Him, and were lightened. 

VER. 41 47. ST. JOHN. 205 

Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, 
in whom ye trust. 

46. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have 
believed me : for he wrote of me. 

47. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye 
believe my words? 

CHRYS. Our Lord having made mention of John, and the chrys. 
witness of God, and His own works, many, who did not see ^' 
that His motive was to induce them to believ 7 e, might suspect 
Him of a desire for human glory, and therefore He says, 
I receive not honour from men: i. e. I do not want it. My 
nature is not such as to want that glory, which cometh from 
men. For if the Son receives no addition from the light of 
a candle, much more am not I in want of human glory. 
ALCUIN. Or, / receive not honour from men: i. e. I seek 
not human praise ; for I came not to receive carnal honour 
from men, but to give spiritual honour to men. I do not 
bring forward this testimony then, because I seek my own 
glory; but because I compassionate your wanderings, and 
wish to bring you back to the way of truth. Hence what 
follows, But I know you that ye have not the love of God 
in you. CHRYS. As if to say, I said this to prove that Chrys. 
it is not from your love of God, that you persecute Me; 

He bears witness to Me, by My own works, and by the 
Scriptures. So that, if ye loved God, as ye rejected Me, 
thinking Me against God, so now ye would come to Me. 
But ye do not love Him. And He proves this, not only 
from what they do now, but from what they will do in 
time to come: / am come in My Father's name, and ye 
receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him 
ye will receive. He says plainly, / am come in the Father's 
name, that they might never be able to plead ignorance as 
an excuse ALCUIN. As if He said, For this cause came I 
into the world, that through Me the name of the Father might 
be glorified; for I attribute all to Him. As then they would 
not receive Him, Who came to do His Father's will ; they 
had not the love of God. But Antichrist will come not in 
the Father's name, but in his own, to seek, not the Father's 
glory, but his own. And the Jews having rejected Christ, it 


was a fit punishment on them, that they should receive 

Antichrist, and believe a lie, as they would not believe the 

Aug. Truth. AUG. Hear John, As ye have heard that Antichrist 

de Verb. 

Dom. shall come, even now are there many Antichrists. But what 

Serm. ^ost t jj OU d re& & in Antichrist, except that he will exalt his 
med. own name, and despise the name of the Lord? And what 
Uohn2, e j ge oes j ie ^ W j 10 sa y S) j justify;" or those who say, 

" Unless we are good, ye must perish ?" Wherefore my life 
shall depend on Thee, and my salvation shall be fastened to 
Thee. Shall I so forget my foundation ? Is not my rock 

Chrys. Christ ? CHRYS. Here is the crowning proof of their impiety. 

xli. 13. He says, as it were, If it was the love of God that made you 
persecute me, you would persecute Antichrist much more : 
for he does not profess to be sent by the Father, or to come 
according to His will ; but, on the contrary, usurping what 
does not belong to him, will proclaim himself to be God 
over all. It is manifest that your persecution of Me is froin 
malice and hatred of God. Then He gives the reason of 
their unbelief: How can ye believe, which receive honour one 
of another, and seek not the honour that comethfrom God 
only ? another proof this, that theirs was not a zeal for 
God, but a gratification of their own passions. ALCUIN. How 
faulty then is the boasting temper, and that eagerness for 
human praise, which likes to be thought to have what it has 
not, and would fain be thought to have all that it has, by its own 
strength. Men of such temper cannot believe ; for in their 
hearts, they are bent solely on gaining praise, and setting 
themselves up above others. BEDE. The best way of guard 
ing against this sin, is to bring to our consciences the 
remembrance, that we are dust, and should ascribe all the 
good that we have not to ourselves, but to God. And we 
should endeavour always to be such, as we wish to appear 
to others. Then, as they might ask, Wilt thou accuse us then 
to the Father ? He anticipates this question : Do not think 

Chrys. that I will accuse you to the Father. CHRYS. For I am not 

xli. 2. come to condemn, but to save. TJtere is one that accuseth 
you, even Moses, in whom you trust. As He had said of the 

Alluding to the Donatists, who denied the efficacy of any but their own 
made baptismal justification to depend Baptism. Nic. 
on the goodness of the minister, and 

VER. 41 47. ST. JOHN. 207 

Scriptures above : In them ye think ye have eternal life. So 
now of Moses He says, In whom ye trust, always answering 
them out of their authorities. But they will say, How will 
he accuse us ? What hast Thou to do with Moses, Thou who 
hast broken the sabbath ? So He adds : For had ye believed 
Moses, ye would perhaps have believed Me, for he wrote of 
me. This is connected with what was said before. For 
where evidence that He came from God had been forced 
upon them by His words, by the voice of John, and the 
testimony of the Father, it was certain that Moses would 
condemn them; for he had said, If any one shall come, 
doing miracles, leading men to God, and foretelling the future 13, i. 
with certainty, you must obey him. Christ did all this, and 
they did not obey Him. ALCUIN. Perhaps, He says, in ac 
commodation to our way of speaking, not because there is 
really any doubting in God. Moses prophesied of Christ, 
A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up from awzow^r Deut. 
your brethren like unto me: Him shall ye hear. AUG. But, ' 8 > 18> 
in fact, the whole that Moses wrote, was written of Christ, cont. 
i. e. it has reference to Him principally ; whether it point x ^ U c 9 
to Him by figurative actions, or expression; or set forth His 
grace and glory. 

But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My 
words. THEOPHYL. As if He said, He has even written, 
and has left his books among you, as a constant memento to 
you, lest you forget His words. And since you believe 
not his writings, how can ye believe My unwritten words ? 
ALCUIN. From this we may infer too, that he who knows the 
commandments against stealing, and other crimes, and 
neglects them, will never fulfil the more perfect and refined 
precepts of the Gospel. CHRYS. Indeed had they attended Chrys. 
to His words, they ought and would have tried to learn from ^f ' 
Him, what the things were which Moses had written of Him. 
But they are silent. For it is the nature of wickedness to 
defy persuasion. Do what you will, it retains its venom to 
the last. 


1. After these things Jesus went over the sea of 
Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 

2. And a great multitude followed him, because 
they saw his miracles which he did on them that were 

3. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he 
sat with his disciples. 

4. And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 

5. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw 
a great company come unto him, he saith unto 
Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may 

6. And this he said to prove him : for he himself 
knew what he would do. 

7. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth 
of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of 
them may take a little. 

8. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's 
brother, saith unto him, 

9. There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, 
and two small fishes: but what are they among so 

10. And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now 
there was much grass in the place. So the men sat 
down, in number about five thousand. 

11. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had 
given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the 
disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of 
the fishes as much as they would. 


12. When they were filled, he said unto his 
disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that 
nothing be lost. 

13. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled 
twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley 
loaves, which remained over and above unto them that 
had eaten. 

14. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle 
that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet 
that should come into the world. 

CHRYS. As missiles rebound with great force from a hard Chrys. 
body, and fly off in all directions, whereas a softer material x u m { 
retains and stops them; so violent men are only excited 
to greater rage by violence on the side of their opponents, 
whereas gentleness softens them. Christ quieted the irritation 
of the Jews by retiring from Jerusalem. He went into 
Galilee, but not to Cana again, but beyond the sea : 
After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which 
is the sea of Tiberias. ALCTJIN. This sea hath different 
names, from the different places with which it is connected; 
the sea of Galilee, from the province; the sea of Tiberias, from 
the city of that name. It is called a sea, though it is not salt 
water, that name being applied to all large pieces of water, 
in Hebrew. This sea our Lord often passes over, in going 
to preach to the people bordering on it. THEOPHYL. He 
goes from/ place to place to try the dispositions of people, 
and excite a desire to hear Him : And a great multitude 
followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did 
on them that were diseased. ALCDIN. viz. His giving sight 
to the blind, and other like miracles. And it should be 
understood, that all, whom He healed in body, He renewed 
likewise in soul. CHRYS. Though favoured with such Chrys. 
teaching, they were influenced less by it, than by the^" 1 ^ 
miracles ; a sign of their low state of belief: for Paul says 
of tongues, that they are for a sign, not to them that believe, i Cor. 
but to them that believe not. They were wiser of whom it is ' 

said, that they were astonished at His doctrine. The Matt. 7, 



Evangelist does not say what miracles He wrought, the 
great object of his book being to give our Lord's discourses. 
It follows: And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there 
sat with His disciples. He went up into the mountain, on 
account of the miracle which was going to be done. That 
the disciples alone ascended with Him, implies that the 
people who stayed behind were in fault for not following. He 
went up to the mountain too, as a lesson to us to retire from 
the tumult and confusion of the world, and leave wisdom in 
solitude. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 
Observe, in a whole year, the Evangelist has told us of no 
miracles of Christ, except His healing the impotent man, 
and the nobleman's son. His object was to give not a 
regular history, but only a few of the principal acts of our 
Lord. But why did not our Lord go up to the feast ? He 
was taking occasion, from the wickedness of the Jews, 
gradually to abolish the Law. THEOPHYL. The persecutions 
of the Jews gave Him reason for retiring, and thus setting 
aside the Law. The truth being now revealed, types were 
at an end, and He was under no obligation to keep the 

Mat. 14, J cw ish feasts. Observe the expression, a feast of the Jews, 
not a feast of Christ. BEDE. If we compare the accounts of 
the different Evangelists, we shall find very clearly, that 
there was an interval of a year between the beheading of 
John, and our Lord's Passion. For, since Matthew says that 
our Lord, on hearing of the death of John, withdrew into a 
desert place, where He fed the multitude ; and John says 
that the Passover was nigh, when He fed the multitude; it is 
evident that John was beheaded shortly before the Passover. 
And at the same feast, the next year Christ suffered. 
It follows, When Jesus then lifted up His eyes, and saw a 
great company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence 
shall u-e buy bread, that these may eat ? When Jesus 
lifted up His eyes, this is to shew us, that Jesus was not 
generally with His eyes lifted up, looking about Him, but 
sitting calm and attentive, surrounded by His disciples. 

Chrys. CuRYs. Nor did He only sit with His disciples, but con- 
versed with them familiarly, and gained possession of their 
minds. Then He looked, and saw a crowd advancing. But 
why did He ask Philip that question ? Because He knew 

VKR. 1 14. ST. JOHN. 211 

that His disciples, and he especially, needed further teaching. 
For this Philip it was who said afterwards, Shew us thec.14,8. 
Father, and it sufficeth us. And if the miracle had been 
performed at once, without any introduction, the greatness 
of it would not have been seen. The disciples were made to 
confess their own inability, that they might see the miracle 
more clearly; And this He said to prove him. AUG. One Aug. 
kind of temptation leads to sin, with which God never tempts j) om er ' 
any one; and there is another kind, by which faith is tried. Serm. 
In this sense it is said that Christ proved His disciple. T.hisj a ' mes 
is not meant to imply that He did not know what Philip^ 13 - 
would say ; but is an accommodation to men's way of speak- 13, 3. 
ing. For as the expression, Who searcheth the hearts of 
men, does not mean the searching of ignorance, but of 
absolute knowledge ; so here, when it is said that our Lord 
proved Philip, we must understand that He knew him 
perfectly, but that He tried him, in order to confirm his faith. 
The Evangelist himself guards against the mistake which 
this imperfect mode of speaking might occasion, by adding, 
For He Himself knew what He would do. ALCUIN. He asks 
him this question, not for His own information, but in order 
to shew His yet unformed disciple his dulness of mind, which 
he could not perceive of himself. THEOPHYL. Or to shew 
others it. He was not ignorant of His disciple's heart Him 
self. AUG. But if our Lord, according to John's account, Au g- 
on seeing the multitude, asked Philip, tempting him, whence E^vang! 
they could buy food for them, it is difficult St first to see L "; c - 
how it can be true, according to the other account, that the 
disciples first told our Lord, to send away the multitude; 
and that our Lord replied, They need not depart; give ye Matt, 
them to eat. We must understand then it was after saying 20 ' * 
this, that our Lord saw the multitude, and said to Philip 
what John had related, which has been omitted by the rest. 
CHRYS. Or they are two different occasions altogether. Chrys. 
THEOPHYL. Thus tried by our Lord, Philip was found to 
possessed with human notions, as appears from what follows, 
Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is 
not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a 
little. ALCUIN. Wherein he shews his dulness : for, had he 
perfect ideas of his Creator, he would not be thus doubting 


Aug. His power. AUG. The reply, which is attributed to Philip 
Evan, by John, Mark puts in the mouth of all the disciples, either 
l. ii. c. mean i n g us t, understand that Philip spoke for the rest, or 
else putting the plural number for the singular, which is 
often done. THEOPHYL. Andrew is in the same perplexity 
that Philip is; only he has rather higher notions of our Lord: 
TJiere is a lad here which hath Jive barley loaves and two 
Chrys. small Jishes. CHRYS. Probably He had some reason in his 
xliTii mm d f r this speech. He would know of Elijah's miracle, by 
which a hundred men were fed with twenty loaves. This 
was a great step ; but here he stopped. He did not rise 
any higher. For his next words are, But what are these 
among so many ? He thought that less could produce less 
in a miracle, and more more ; a great mistake ; inasmuch as 
it was as easy for Christ to feed the multitude from a few 
fishes as from many. He did not really want any material 
to work from, but only made use of created things for this 
purpose in order to shew that no part of the creation was 
severed from His wisdom. THEOPHYL. This passage con 
founds the Manicheans, who say that bread and all such 
things were created by an evil Deity. The Son of the good 
God, Jesus Christ, multiplied the loaves. Therefore they 
could not have been naturally evil ; a good God would never 
Aug. have multiplied what was evil. AUG. Andrew's suggestion 
E^ang! aDout the five loaves and two fishes, is given as coming from 
ii.c.xlvi. the disciples in general, in the other Evangelists, and the 
Chrys. plural number is used. CHRYS. And let those of us, who 
xliTn. are given to pleasure, observe the plain and abstemious 
eating of those great and wonderful men b . He made the 
men sit down before the loaves appeared, to teach us that 
with Him, things that are not are as things that are; as Paul 
Rom. says, Who calleth those things that be not, as though they 
25 > 17 - were. The passage proceeds then: And Jems said, Make 
the men sit down. ALCUIN. Sit down, i. e. lie down, as the 
ancient custom was, which they could do, as there was much 
grass in the place, THEOPHYL. i. e. green grass. It was the 
time of the Passover, which was kept the first month of the 
spring. So the men sat down in number about Jive 
thousand. The Evangelist only counts the men, following 
b Alluding to the five loaves and two fishes. 

VER. 1 14. ST. JOHN. 218 

the direction in the law, Moses numbered the people from 
twenty years old and upwards, making no mention of the 
women ; to signify that the manly and juvenile character is 
especially honourable in God's eyes. And Jesus took 1he 
loaves; and when He had given thanks, He distributed c to 
them that were sat down : and likewise of the fishes as 
much as they would. CHRYS. But why when He is going Chrys. 
to heal the impotent, to raise the dead, to calm the sea,^-,'^ 
does He not pray, but here does give thanks ? To teach us 
to give thanks to God, whenever we sit down to eat. And 
He prays more in lesser matters, in order to shew that He 
does not pray from any motive of need. For had prayer 
been really necessary to supply His wants, His praying 
would have been in proportion to the importance of each 
particular work. But acting, as He does, on His own 
authority, it is evident, He only prays out of condescension 
to us. And, as a great multitude was collected, it was an 
opportunity of impressing on them, that His coming was in 
accordance with God's will. Accordingly, when a miracle 
was private, He did not pray; when numbers were present, 
He did. HILARY. Five loaves are then set before the Hiiar. 
multitude, and broken. The broken portions pass through iiL . de 
into the hands of those who break, that from which they are c . is. 
broken all the time not at all diminishing. And yet there 
they are, the bits taken from it, in the hands of the persons 
breaking d . There is no catching by eye or touch the 
miraculous operation: that is, which was not, that is seen, 
which is not understood. It only remains for us to believe 
that God can do all things. AUG. He multiplied in His Aug. 
hands the five loaves, just as He produces harvest out of a Tr ' xxiv> 
few grains. There was a power in the hands of Christ; and 
those five loaves were, as it were, seeds, not indeed com 
mitted to the earth, but multiplied by Him who made the 
earth. CHRYS. Observe the difference between the servant Chrys. 
and the lord. The Prophets received grace, as it were, by H P. m - 

c Vulgate omits, to the disciples, and not lost its portion ; meantime the heap 

the disciples. of fragments increases ; those who 

d Hilary literally. The operation break are engaged in supplying, those 

escapes the sight ; whilst you follow who eat in receiving, the hungry are 

with your eyes one hand filled with satisfied ; twelve baskets are filled with 

fragments, you see that the other has what remains. Nic. 


measure, and according to that measure performed their 
miracles: whereas Christ, working this by His own absolute 
power, produces a kind of superabundant result. When 
they were filled, He said unto His disciples, Gather up the 
fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they 
gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the 
fragments. This was not done for needless ostentation, but 
to prevent men from thinking the whole a delusion ; which 
was the reason why He made use of an existing material to 
work from. But why did He give the fragments to His 
disciples to carry away, and not to the multitude ? Because 
the disciples were to be the teachers of the world, and there 
fore it was most important that the truth should be impressed 
upon them. Wherefore I admire not only the multitude of 
the loaves which were made, but the definite quantity of the 
fragments ; neither more nor less than twelve baskets full, and 
corresponding to the number of the twelve Apostles. THE- 
OPHYL. We learn too from this miracle, not to be pusillani 
mous in the greatest straits of poverty. BEDE. When the 
multitude saw the miracle our Lord had done, they mar 
velled; as they did not know yet that He was God. Then 
those men, the Evangelist adds, i. e. carnal men, whose 
understanding was carnal, ichen they had perceived the 
miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that Prophet 
that should come into the world. ALCUIN. Their faith 
being as yet weak, they only call our Lord a Prophet, 
not knowing that He was God. But the miracle had pro 
duced considerable effect upon them, as it made them 
call our Lord that Prophet, singling Him out from the 
rest. They call Him a Prophet, because some of the 
Prophets had worked miracles ; and properly, inasmuch as 
Luke our Lord calls Himself a Prophet ; It cannot be that a 
^u 33 prophet perish out of Jerusalem. AUG. Christ is a Prophet, 
Tr.xxiv. and the Lord of Prophets ; as He is an Angel, and the Lord 
s ' 7 ' of Angels. In that He came to announce something, He 
was an Angel ; in that He foretold the future, He was a 
Prophet; in that He was the Word made flesh, He was 
Lord both of Angels and Prophets; for none can be a 
Prophet without the word of God. CHRYS. Their expres 
sion, that should come into the world, shews that they 

VER. 114. ST. JOHN. 215 

expected the arrival of some great Prophet. And this is 
why they say, This is of a truth that Prophet : the article 
being put in the Greek, to shew that He was distinct from 
other Prophets. AUG. But let us reflect a little here. For- Aug. 
asmuch as the Divine Substance is not visible to the eye, an 
the miracles of the divine government of the world, and 
ordering of the whole creation, are overlooked in consequence 
of their constancy; God has reserved to Himself acts, 
beside the established course and order of nature, to do at 
suitable times ; in order that those who overlooked the daily 
course of nature, might be roused to wonder by the sight of 
what was different from, though not at all greater, than what 
they were used to. The government of the world is a greater 
miracle, than the satisfying the hunger of five thousand with 
five loaves ; and yet no one wonders at this : the former 
excited wonder; not from any real superiority in it, but 
because it was uncommon. But it would be wrong to gather 
no more than this from Christ's miracles: for, the Lord 
who is on the mount 6 , and the Word of God which is on 
high, the same is no humble person to be lightly passed 
over, but we must look up to Him reverently. ALCUIN. 
Mystically, the sea signifies this tumultuous world. In the 
fulness of time, when Christ had entered the sea of our 
mortality by His birth, trodden it by His death, passed over 
it by His resurrection f , then followed Him crowds of believers, 
both from the Jews and Gentiles. BEDE. Our Lord went 
up to the mountain, when He ascended to heaven, which is 
signified by the mountain. ALCUIN. His leaving the multi 
tude below, and ascending the heights with His disciples, 
signifies, that lesser precepts are to be given to beginners, 
higher to the more matured. His refreshing the people 
shortly before the Passover signifies our refreshment by the 
bread of the divine word ; and the body and blood, i. e. our 
spiritual passover, by which we pass over from vice to virtue. 
And the Lord's eyes are spiritual gifts, which he mercifully 
bestows on His Elect. He turns His eyes upon them, i. e. 
has compassionate respect unto them. AUG. The five barley: 
loaves signify the old law; either because the law wasQusest. 
given to men not as yet spiritual, but carnal, i. e. under the pjj nc ' t 

e V. 15. departed into a mountain f V. 1. Jesus went over the sea of 
Himself alone. Galilee. 


dominion of the five senses, (the multitude itself consisted 
of five thousand :) or because the Law itself was given by 
Moses in five books. And the loaves being of barley is also 
an allusion to the Law, which concealed the soul's vital 
nourishment, under carnal ceremonies. For in barley the 
corn itself is buried under the most tenacious husk. Or, 
it alludes to the people who were not yet freed from the 
Bede. husk of carnal appetite, which cling to their heart. BEDE. 
Luc. c. Barley is the food of cattle and slaves : and the old law was 
A*' TT, gi ven t slaves and cattle, i. e. to carnal men. AUG. The 
Ixxxiv. two fishes again, that gave the pleasant taste to the bread, 
seem to ^g^fy tne two authorities by which the people were 
governed, the Royal, viz. and the Priestly; both of which 
prefigure our Lord, who sustained both characters. BEDE. 
Or, by the two fishes are meant the saying or writings of 
the Prophets, and the Psalmist. And whereas the number 
five refers to the five senses, a thousand stands for perfec 
tion. But those who strive to obtain the perfect government 
of their five senses, are called men, in consequence of their 
superior powers : they have no womanly weaknesses ; but by 
a sober and chaste life, earn the sweet refreshment of heavenly 
U S' . wisdom. AUG. The boy who had these is perhaps the 

Tr.xxiv. J ~ 

5. Jewish people, who, as it were, carried the loaves and fishes 
after a servile fashion, and did not eat them. That which 
they carried, while shut up, was only a burden to them; 

Bede. when opened became their food. BEDE. And well is it 
xxiv. 5. said, But what are these among so many ? The Law was of 
little avail, till He took it into His hand, i. e. fulfilled it, 
Heb. 7, an( j g ave jt a spiritual meaning. The Law made nothing 
Aug. perfect. AUG. By the act of breaking He multiplied the 
Trjtxiv. g ve i oaves> The fi ve books of Moses, when expounded by 
Aug.iib. breaking, i. e. unfolding them, made many books. AUG. 
Quaes"' ^ U1 Lord by breaking, as it were, what was hard in the 
qu. 6]. Law, and opening what was shut, that time when He opened 
the Scriptures to the disciples after the resurrection, brought 
Aug- the Law out in its full meaning. AUG. Our Lord's question 
s. 6. proved the ignorance of His disciples, i. e. the people's igno 
rance of the Law. They lay on the grass, i. e. were carnally 

6. ' minded, rested in carnal things, for all flesh is grass, Men 
Au s- . are filled with the loaves, when what they hear with the ear, they 
s. 6. fulfil in practice. AUG. And what are the fragments, but the 

VER. 15 21. ST. JOHN. 217 

parts which the people could not eat ? An intimation, that 
those deeper truths, which the multitude cannot take in, 
should be entrusted to those who are capable of receiving 
them, and afterwards teaching them to others; as were the 
Apostles. For which reason twelve baskets were filled with 
them. ALCUIN. Baskets are used for servile work. The 
baskets here are the Apostles and their followers, who, 
though despised in this present life, are within filled with 
the riches of spiritual sacraments. The Apostles too are 
represented as baskets, because, that through them, the 
doctrine of the Trinity was to be preached in the four parts 
of the world. His not making new loaves, but multiplying 
what there were, means that He did not reject the Old 
Testament, but only developed and explained it. 

15. When Jesus therefore perceived that they 
would come and take him by. force, to make him a 
king, he departed again into a mountain himself 

16. And when even was now come, his disciples 
went down unto the sea, 

17. And entered into a ship, and went over the sea 
toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus 
was not come to them. 

18. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind 
that blew- 

19. So when they had rowed about five and twenty 
or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, 
and drawing nigh unto the ship : and they were 

20. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 

21. Then they willingly received him into the ship: 
and immediately the ship was at the land whither they 

BEDE. The multitude concluding, from so great a miracle, 
that He was merciful and powerful, wished to make 
Him a king. For men like having a merciful king to rule 
over them, and a powerful one to protect them. Our Lord 


knowing this, retired to the mountain : When Jesus therefore 
perceived that they would come and take Him by force to 
make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Him 
self alone. From this we gather, that our Lord went down 
from the mountain before, where He was sitting with -His 
disciples, when He saw the multitude coming, and had fed 
them on the plain below. For how could He go up to the 
Aug. mountain again, unless He had come down from it. AUG. 
de^Con. ^j^g j s no t a t all inconsistent with what we read, that He 
c. xivii. went up into a mountain apart to pray : the object of escape 
23> ' 'being quite compatible with that of prayer. Indeed our 
Lord teaches us here, that whenever escape is necessary, 
Aug. there is great necessity for prayer. AUG. Yet He who feared 
2> r ' ' 'to be made a king, was a king; not made king by men, (for 
He ever reigneth with the Father, in that He is the Son of 
God,) but making men kings: which kingdom of His the 
Prophets had foretold. Christ by being made man, made 
the believers in Him Christians, i. e. members of His- king 
dom, incorporated and purchased by His Word. And this 
kingdom will be made manifest, after the judgment ; when 
the brightness of His saints shall be revealed. The dis 
ciples however, and the multitude who believed on Him, 
thought that He had come to reign now ; and so would have 
taken Him by force, to make Him a king, wishing to anti- 
Chrys. c jp a t e [j s time, which He kept secret. CHRYS. See what 
xlii.s. the belly can do. They care no more for the violation 
of the Sabbath ; all their zeal for God is fled, now that 
their bellies are filled : Christ has become a Prophet, and 
they wish to enthrone Him as king. But Christ makes 
His escape ; to teach us to despise the dignities of the 
world. He dismisses His disciples, and goes up into 
Hom. the mountain. These, when their Master had left them, 
went down in the evening to the sea; as we read; And 
when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the 
sea. They waited till evening, thinking He would come to 
them ; and then, as He did not come, delayed no longer 
searching for Him, but in the ardour of love, entered into a 
ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. They went 

ug ' to Capernaum thinking they should find Him there. AUG. 
j. r xxv 

s. 5. The Evangelist now returns to explain why they went, and 

VER. 15 21. ST. JOHN. 219 

relate what happened to them while they were crossing the 
lake : And it was dark, he says, and Jesus was not come to 
them. CHRYS. The mention of the time is not accidental, Chrys. 
but meant to shew the strength of their love. They did BOt x iii.i. 
make excuses, and say, It is evening now, and night is 
coming on, but in the warmth of their love went into the 
ship. And now many things alarm them: the time, Audit 
was now dark ; and the weather, as we read next, And the 
sea arose by reason of a great wind, that blew ; their distance 
from land, So when they had rowed about Jive and twenty 
or thirty furlongs. BEDE. The way of speaking we use,Bede 
when we are in doubt; about five and twenty, we say, or^ y * 
thirty. CHRYS. And at last He appears quite unexpectedly: Joan. 
They see Jesus walking upon the sea, drawing nigh. He Hom! 
reappears after His retirement, teaching them what it is to be xliii - 1 - 
forsaken, and stirring them to greater love; His reappearance 
manifesting His power. They were disturbed, were afraid, 
it is said. Our Lord comforts them : But He saith unto them, 
It is I, be not afraid. BEDE. He does not say, I am Jesus, Bede 
but only / am. He trusts to their easily recognising fte.^. 
voice, which was so familiar to them, or, as is more probable, 
He shews that He was the same who said to Moses, /amExod.3, 
that I am. CHRYS. He appeared to them in this way, to shew chrys. 
His power; for He immediately calmed the tempest: Then* 1 ?' 
they wished to receive Him into the ship; and immediately 
the ship was at the land, whither they went. So great was 
the calm, He did not even enter the ship, in order to work a 
greater miracle, and to shew his Divinity more clearly 8 . 
THEOPHYL. Observe the three miracles here; the first, His 
walking on the sea ; the second, His stilling the waves ; the 
third, His putting them immediately on shore, which they 
were some distance off, when our Lord appeared. CHRYS. Chrys. 
Jesus does not shew Himself to the crowd walking on the x ijjj/i. 
sea, such a miracle being too much for them to hear. Nor 
even to the disciples did He shew Himself long, but dis- ' Mat- 
appeared immeditately. AUG. Mark's ' account does not con- 

tradict this. He says indeed that our Lord told the disciples and Aug. 
first to enter the ship, and go before Him over the sea, while EV. i.ii! 

He dismissed the crowds, and that when the crowd was^. xl , vii - 


8 jfSiXM Xa(3ii aurn in the Greek : our translation, " they willingly received Him." 6, 45. 


dismissed, He went up alone into the mountain to pray : 
while John places His going up alone in the mountain first, 
and then says, And when even was now come, His disciples 
went down unto the sea. But it is easy to see that John 
relates that as done afterwards by the disciples, which our 
Lord had ordered before His departure to the mountain. 

Chrys. CnRYs. Or take another explanation. This miracle seems 

xlii?i. to me to be a different one, from the one given in Matthew: 
for there they do not receive Him into the ship immediately, 
whereas here they do h : and there the storm lasts for some 
time, whereas here as soon as He speaks, there is a calm. 
He often repeats the same miracle in order to impress it on 

Aug. men's minds. AUG. There is a mystical meaning in our 
3* xv ' Lord's feeding the multitude, and ascending the mountain: 

etseq. for thus was it prophesied of Him, So shall the congregation 
of the people come about Thee: for their sake therefore lift 
up Thyself again : i. e. that the congregation of the people 
may come about Thee, lift up Thyself again. But why is it 
fled; for they could not have detained Him against His 
will? This fleeing has a meaning; viz. that His flight is 
above our comprehension ; just as, when you do not under 
stand a thing, you say, It escapes me. He fled alone unto 
the mountain, because He is ascended from above all heavens. 
But on His ascension aloft a storm came upon the disciples in 
the ship, i. e. the Church, and it became dark, the light, i. e. 
Jesus, having gone. As the end of the world draws nigh, 
error increases, iniquity abounds. Light again is love, ac- 

l John cording to John, He that hateth his brother is in darkness. 

n O 

The waves and storms and winds then that agitate the ship, 

are the clamours of the evil speaking, and love waxing cold. 

Howbeit the wind, and storm, and waves, and darkness were 

Matt. n ot able to stop, and sink the vessel ; For he that endureth 

10 22 

to the end, the same shall be saved. As the number five 
has reference to the Law, the books of Moses being five, the 
number five and twenty, being made up of five pieces, has 
the same meaning. And this law was imperfect, before the 
Gospel came. Now the number of perfection is six, so 
therefore five is multiplied by six, which makes thirty: i. e. 

h So in the Catena. But Chrysostom, to be in doubt longer in St. Matthew 
Why did not they at once receive whether it was our Lord, 
this P alluding to the disciples seeming 

VER. 22 27. ST. JOHN. 221 

the law is fulfilled by the Gospel. To those then who fulfil 
the law Jesus comes treading on the waves, i. e. trampling 
under foot all the swellings of the world, all the loftiness of 
men : and yet such tribulations remain, that even they who 
believe on Jesus, fear lest they should be lost. THEOPHYL. 
When either men or devils try to terrify us, let us hear 
Christ saying, It is I, be not afraid, i. e. I am ever near you, 
God unchangeable, immoveable ; let not any false fears 
destroy your faith in Me. Observe too our Lord did not 
come when the danger was beginning, but when it was 
ending. He suffers us to remain in the midst of dangers 
and tribulations, that we may be proved thereby, and flee for 
succour to Him Who is able to give us deliverance when we 
least expect it. When man's understanding can no longer 
help him, then the Divine deliverance comes. If we are 
willing also to receive Christ into the ship, i. e. to live in 
our hearts, we shall find ourselves immediately in the place, 
where we wish to be, i. e. heaven. BEDE. This ship, however, 
does not carry an idle crew; they are all stout rowers; i. e. 
in the Church not the idle and effeminate, but the stre 
nuous and persevering in good works, attain to the harbour 
of everlasting salvation. 

22. The day following, when the people which stood 
on the other side of the sea saw that there was none 
other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples 
were entered, and that Jesus went not with his dis 
ciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone 
away alone; 

23. (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias 
nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after 
that the Lord had given thanks:) 

24. When the people therefore saw that Jesus was 
not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, 
and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 

25. And when they had found him on the other 
side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when 
earnest thou hither? 


26. Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, 1 
say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the 
miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and 
were filled. 

27. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but 
for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, 
which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him 
hath God the Father sealed. 

Chrys. CHRYS. Our Lord, though He did not actually shew Him- 

2^2 se ^ to ^e multitude walking on the sea, yet gave them the 

opportunity of inferring what had taken place ; The day 

following, the people which stood on the other side of the sea 

saw that there was none other boat there, save that one 

whereinto His disciples were entered, and that Jesus went 

not with His disciples into the boat, but that His disciples 

were gone away alone. What was this but to suspect that 

He had walked across the sea, on His going away? For He 

could not have gone over in a ship, as there was only one 

there, that in which His disciples had entered ; and He had 

Aug. not gone in with them. AUG. Knowledge of the miracle was 

g r ' xxv ' conveyed to them indirectly. Other ships had come to the 

place where they had eaten bread ; in these they went after 

Him ; Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias, nigh 

unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord 

had given thanks. When the people therefore saw that 

Jesus was not there, neither His disciples, they also took 

shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 

Chrys. CHRYS. Yet after so great a miracle, they did not ask Him 

xliii. i. how He had passed over, or shew any concern about it : as 

appears from what follows ; And when they had found Him 

on the other side of the sea, they said unto Him, Rabbi, 

when earnest Thou hither ? Except we say that this when 

meant how. And observe their lightness of mind. After 

saying, This is that Prophet, and wishing to take Him by 

force to make Him king, when they find Him, nothing of 

Aug. the kind is thought of. AUG. So He Who had fled to the 

8. 3 v ' mountain, mixes and converses with the multitude. Only 

just now they would have kept Him, and made Him king. 

VER. 22 27. ST. JOHN. 223 

But after the sacrament of the miracle, He begins to dis 
course, and fills their souls with His word, whose bodies He 
had satisfied with bread. ALCUIN. ' He who set an example 
of declining praise, and earthly power, sets teachers also an 
example of deliverance in preaching. CHRYS. Kindness Chrys. 
and lenity are not always expedient. To the indolent Ot^^i, 
insensible disciple the spur must be applied ; and this the 
Son of God does. For when the multitude comes with soft 
speeches, Rabbi, when earnest Thou hither? He shews them 
that He did not desire the honour that cometh from man, by 
the severity of His answer, which both exposes the motive on 
which they acted, and rebukes it. Jesus answered them and 
said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek Me, not because 
ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and 
were filled. AUG. As if He said, Ye seek Me to satisfy the Aug. 
flesh, not the spirit. CHRYS. After the rebuke, however, He 10 r .' x 
proceeds to teach them : Labour not for the meat ichicli Chrys. 
perisheth, but for that meat which enduretli unto everlasting xliv. l. 
Hfe;% meaning, Ye seek for temporal food, whereas I only 
fed your bodies, that ye might seek the more diligently for 
that food, which is not temporary, but contains eternal life. 
ALCUIN. Bodily food only supports the flesh of the outward 
man, and must be taken not once for all, but daily ; whereas 
spiritual food rernaineth for ever, imparting perpetual fulness, 
and immortality. AUG. Under the figure of food He alludes Aug. 
to Himself. Ye seek Me, He saith, for the sake of some- 10 r ' X3 
thing else ; seek Me for My own sake. CHRYS. But, inas- Chrys. 
much as some who wish to live in sloth, pervert this precept, X H V . i. 
Labour not, fyc. it is well to notice what Paul says, Let him Ephes. 
that stole steal no more, but rather let him labour, working ' 
with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to 
give to him that needeih. And he himself too, when he 
resided with Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth, worked 
with his hand. By saying, Labour not for the meat which 
perisheth y our Lord does not mean to tell us to be idle; but 
to work, and give alms. This is that meat which perisheth 
not; to labour for the meat which perisheth, is to be devoted 
to the interests of this life. Our Lord saw that the multitude 
had no thought of believing, and only wished to fill their 
1 Not found in Alcuin, but in a Gloss. 


bellies, without working; and this He justly called the meat 

Tr xxv wn i c h perisheth. AUG. As He told the woman of Samaria 

10. above, If thou knewest Who it is that saith to thee, Give me 

- 4 - to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would 

have given thee living water. So He says here, Which the 

Son of man shall give unto you. ALCUIN. When, through 

the hand of the priest, thou receivest the Body of Christ, 

think not of the priest which thou seest, but of the Priest 

thou dost not see. The priest is the dispenser of this food, 

not the author. The Son of man gives Himself to us, that 

we may abide in Him, and He in us. Do not conceive that 

Son of man to be the same as other sons of men: He 

stands alone in abundance of grace, separate and distinct 

from all the rest: for that Son of man is the Son of God, as 

it follows, For Him hath God the Father sealed. To seal is 

to put a mark upon; so the meaning is, Do not despise Me 

because I am the Son of man, for I am the Son of man in 

such sort, as that the Father hath sealed Me, i. e. given Me 

something peculiar, to the end that I should not be con 

founded with the human race, but that the human race should 

Hilar. be delivered by Me. HILARY. A seal throws out a perfect 

Trin. *c. impression of the stamp, at the same time that it takes in 

44 - that impression. This is not a perfect illustration of the 

Divine nativity: for sealing supposes matter, different kinds 

of matter, the impression of harder upon softer. Yet He 

who was God Only-Begotten, and the Son of man only by 

the Sacrament of our salvation, makes use of it to express 

the Father's fulness as stamped upon Himself. He wishes to 

shew the Jews He has the power of giving the eternal meat, 

Chrys. because He contained in Himself the fulness of God. CHRYS. 

iliv. i. Or sealed, i. e. sent Him for this purpose, viz. to bring us 

food; or, sealed, was revealed the Gospel by means of His 

witness. ALCUIN. To take the passage mystically: on the 

day following, i. e. after the ascension of Christ, the multitude 

standing in good works, not lying in worldly pleasures, 

expects Jesus to come to them. The one ship is the one 

Church : the other ships which come besides, are the con- 

Phil. 2 Denticles of heretics, who seek their own, not the things of 

21 - Jesus Christ. Wherefore He well says, Ye seek Me, because did eat of the loaves. AUG. How many there are who 


VER. 28 34. ST. JOHN. 225 

seek Jesus, only to gain some temporary benefit. One man 
has a matter of business, in which he wants the assistance 
of the clergy; another is oppressed by a more powerful 
neighbour, and flies to the Church for refuge: Jesus is scarcely 
ever sought for Jesus' sake. GREG. Tn their persons too Greg. 
our Lord condemns all those within the holy Church, who, floral, 
when brought near to God by sacred Orders, do not seek the( c - xxv -) 
recompense of righteousness, but the interests of this present 
life. To follow our Lord, when filled with bread, is to use 
Holy Church as a means of livelihood; and to seek our Lord 
not for the miracle's sake, but for the loaves, is to aspire to 
a religious office, not with a view to increase of grace, but to 
add to our worldly means. BEDE. They too seek Jesus, not 
for Jesus' sake, but for something else, who ask in their 
prayers not for eternal, but temporal blessings. The mystical 
meaning is, that the conventicles of heretics are without the 
company of Christ and His disciples. And other ships coming, 
is the sudden growth of heresies. By the crowd, which saw 
that Jesus was not there, or His disciples, are designated 
those who seeing the errors of heretics, leave them and tuni 
to the true faith. 

28. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, 
that we might work the works of God ? 

29. Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the 
work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath 

30. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest 
thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what 
dost thou work ? 

31. Our fathers did eat manna in the desert ; as it 
is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 

32. Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, 
I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from 
heaven ; but my Father giveth you the true bread from 

33. For the bread of God is he which cometh down 
from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 



34. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give 
us this bread. 

ALCUIN T . They understood that the meat, which remaineth 

unto eternal life, was the work of God: and therefore they 

ask Him what to do to work the work of God, i. e. obtain 

the meat : Then said they unto Him, What shall we do that 

we might work the works of God? BEDK. i. e. By keeping 

what commandments shall we be able to fulfil the law of God? 

Chrys. CnRYs. But they said this, not that they might learn, and do 

xlv. l. them, but to obtain from Him another exhibition of His 

bounty. THEOPHYL. Christ, though He saw it would not 

avail, yet for the good of others afterwards, answered their 

question; and shewed them, or rather the whole world, what 

was the work of God : Jesus answered and said unto them, 

This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He 

Aug. hath sent. AUG. He does not say, That ye believe Him, 

in Joau! but, that ye believe on Him. For the devils believed Him, 

and did not believe on Him; and we believe Paul, but do 

not believe on Paul. To believe on Him is believing to 

love, believing to honour Him, believing to go unto Him, 

and be made members incorporate of His Body. The faith, 

which God requires of us, is that which worketh by love. 

Faith indeed is distinguished from works by the Apostle, 

Bom. 3, who says, That man is justified by faith without the deeds 

of the law. But the works indeed which appear good, 

without faith in Christ, are not really so, not being referred 

Horn, to that end, which makes them good. For Christ is the end 

4> f M {e l aw f ar righteousness to every one that believeth. 

And therefore our Lord would not separate faith from works, 

but said that faith itself was the doing the work of God; 

He saith not, This is your work, but, This is the work of 

God, that ye believe on Him : in order that he that glorieth 

Aug. might glory in the Lord. AUG. To eat then that meat which 

xxv ' 12 * endure th unto everlasting life, is to believe on Him. Why 

dost thou make ready thy tooth and thy belly? Only believe, 

and thou hast eaten already. As He called on them to 

1 believe, they still asked for miracles whereby to believe; 

TJiey said tlieref ore unto Him, What sign shetcest Thou then, 

that we may see and believe Thee? What dost Thou work? 

VEH. 28 34. ST. JOHN. 227 

CHRYS. Nothing can be more unreasonable than their asking Chrys. 
for another miracle, as if none had been given already. And x ij" 
they do not even leave the choice of the miracle to our Lord; 
but would oblige Him to give them just that sign, which was 
given to their fathers: Our fathers did eat manna in the 
desert. ALCUIN. And to exalt the miracle of the manna, 
they quote the Psalm, As it is written, He gave them bread 
from heaven to eat. CHRYS. Whereas many miracles were Chrys. 
performed in Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the desert, they^" 1 ^ 
remembered this one the best of any. Such is the force of 
appetite. They do not mention this miracle as the work 
either of God, or of Moses, in order to avoid raising Him on 
the one hand to an equality with God, or lowering Him on the 
other by a comparison with Moses; but they take a middle 
ground, only saying, Our fathers did eat manna in the 
desert. AUG. Or thus ; Our Lord sets Himself above Moses, Aug. 
who did not dare to say that He gave the meat which perisheth fc ^ 
not. The multitude therefore remembering what Moses had 
done, and wishing for some greater miracle, say, as it were, 
Thou promisest the meat which perisheth not, and doest not 
works equal to those Moses did. He gave us not barley 
loaves, but manna from heaven. CHRYS. Our Lord might Chrys. 
have replied, that He had done miracles greater than Moses : XX \. 
but it was not the time for such a declaration. One thing 
He desired, viz. to bring them to taste the spiritual meat: 
then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, 
Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but My Father 
giveth you the true bread from heaven. Did not the manna 
come from heaven ? True, but in what sense did it ? The 
same in which the birds are called, the birds of heaven k ; 
and just as it is said in the Psalm, The Lord thundered out Pa. 17. 
of heaven. He calls it the true bread, not because the 
miracle of the manna was false, but because it was the 
figure, not the reality. He does not say too, Moses gave it 
you not, but I: but He puts God for Moses, Himself for 
the manna. AUG. As if He said, That manna was the type Aug. 
of this food, of which I just now spoke; and which all my 31 r ' x 
miracles refer to. You like my miracles, you despise what 
is signified by them. This bread which God gives, and 

k Volucres cceli, Vulgate translation of fowls of the air. 


which this manna represented, is the Lord Jesus Christ, as we 

read next, For the bread of God is He which cometh down 

from heaven, andgiveth life unto the world. BEDE. Not to the 

physical world, but to men, its inhabitants. THEOPHYL. He 

calls Himself the true bread, because the only-begotten Son 

of God, made man, was principally signified by the manna. 

For manna means literally, what is this ? The Israelites were 

astonished at first on finding it, and asked one another what 

it was. And the Son of God, made man, is in an especial 

sense this mysterious manna, which we ask about, saying, 

What is this ? How can the Son of God be the Son of man ? 

How can one person consist of two natures ? ALCUIN*. Who 

by the humanity, which was assumed, came down from 

heaven, and by the divinity, which assumed it, gives life to 

the world. THEOPHYL. But this bread, being essentially 

life, (for He is the Son of the living Father,) in quickening 

all things, does but what is natural to Him to do. For as 

natural bread supports our weak flesh, so Christ, by the 

operations of the Spirit, gives life to the soul; and even in- 

corruption to the body, (for at the resurrection the body will 

be made incorruptible.) Wherefore He says, that He giveth 

Chrys. Uf e unto the world. CHRYS. Not only to the Jews, but to 

riv!. ^e whole world. The multitude, however, still attached a 

low meaning to His words : Then said they unto Him, Lord, 

evermore give us this bread. They say, Give us this bread, 

not, Ask Thy Father to give it us : whereas He had said that 

Aug. His Father gave this bread. AUG. As the woman of Samaria, 

Tr. xxv. w h en our Lord told her, Whosoever drinketh of this water 

shall never thirst, thought He meant natural water, and said, 

Sir, give me this water, that she might never be in want of it 

again : in the same way these say, Give us this bread, which 

refreshes, supports, and fails not. 

35. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of 
life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and 
he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 

36. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen 
me, and believe not. 

VER. 35 40. ST. JOHN. 229 

37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; 
and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 

38. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine 
own will, but the will of him that sent me. 

39. And this is the Father's will which hath sent 
me, that of all which he hath given me I should 
lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last 

40. And this is the will of him that sent me, that 
every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, 
may have everlasting life : and I will raise him up at 
the last day. 

CHRYS. Our Lord now proceeds to set forth mysteries; Chrys. 
and first speaks of His Divinity: And Jesus said unto them, ^\'% 
I am the bread of life. He does not say this of His body, 
for He speaks of that at the end ; The bread that I will give 
you is My flesh. Here He is speaking of His Divinity. The 
fiesh is bread, by virtue of the Word ; this bread is heavenly 
bread, on account of the Spirit which dwelleth in it. THEO- 
PHYL. He does not say, I am the bread of nourishment, but 
of life, for, whereas all things brought death, Christ hath 
quickened us by Himself. But the life here, is not our 
common life, but that which is not cut short by death : He 
that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and He that 
believeth on Me shall never thirst. AUG. He that cometh Aug. 
to Me, i. e. that believeth on Me, shall never hunger, 14 r ' XXT * 
has the same meaning as shall never thirst; both signi 
fying that eternal society, where there is no want. THEO- 
PHYL. Or, shall never hunger or thirst, i. e. shall never 
be wearied 1 of hearing the word of God, and shall never i noa 
thirst as to the understanding: as though He had not the amem 
water of baptism, and the sanctification of the Spirit. Auo.cipiendi 
Ye desire bread from heaven : but, though you have it before ^ ( 
you, you eat it not. This is what I told you : But I said unto Aug. 
you, that ye also have seen Me, and believe not. ALCUIN. 14.' x ' 
As if He said, I did not say what I did to you about the 
bread, because I thought you would eat it, but rather to 


convict you of unbelief. I say, that ye see Me, and believe 
Chrys. not. CnRYS. Or, I said to you, refers to the testimony of the 
xliv.2. Scriptures, of which He said above, They are they which 
c. 5. testify of Me ; and again, I am come in My Father's name, 
and ye receive Me not. That ye have seen Me, is a silent 
Aug. allusion to His miracles. AUG. But, because ye have seen 
i X ' v 'Me, and believed not, I have not therefore lost the people of 
God : All that the Father giveth Me, shall come unto Me ; 
and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out. BEDE. 
All, He saith, absolutely, to shew the fulness of the number 
who should believe. These are they which the Father gives 
the Son, when, by His secret inspiration, He makes them 
believe in the Son. ALCUIN. Whomsoever therefore the 
Father draweth to belief in Me, he, by faith, shall come to 
Me, that he may be joined to Me. And those, who in the steps 
of faith and good works, shall come to Me, I will in no wise 
cast out ; i. e. in the secret habitation of a pure conscience, 
he shall dwell with Me, and at the last I will receive him to 
Aug. everlasting felicity. AUG. That inner place, whence there is 
14. no casting out, is a great sanctuary, a secret chamber, where 
is neither weariness, or the bitterness of evil thoughts, or the 
Mat. 25. cross of pain and temptation : of which it is said, Enter thou 
Chrys. into the joy of thy Lord. CHSYS. The expression, that the 
xiivTb. Father giveth Me, shews that it is no accident whether a 
man believes or not, and that belief is not the work of human 
cogitation, but requires a revelation from on high, and a 
mind devout enough to receive the revelation. Not that they 
are free from blame, whom the Father does not give, for 
they are deficient even in that which lies in their own power, 
the will to believe. This is a virtual rebuke to their unbelief, 
as it shews that whoever does not believe in Him, transgresses 
the Father's will. Paul, however, says, that He gives them 
i Cor. up to the Father : When He shall have given up the kingdom 
to God, even the Father. But as the Father, in giving, does 
not take from Himself, so neither does the Son when He 
gives up. The Son is said to give up to the Father, because 
we are brought to the Father by Him. And of the Father at 
i Cor. i, the same time we read, By Whom ye were called unto the 
fellowship of His Son. Whoever then, our Lord says, 
cometh to Me, shall be saved, for to save such I took up 

VER. 35 40. ST. JOHN. 231 

flesh: For I came down from heaven not to do Mine own 
will, but the will of Him that sent Me. But what? Hast 
thou one will, He another ? No, certainly. Mark what He 
says afterwards; And this is the will of Him that sent Me, 
that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, 
should have everlasting life. And this is the Son's will too ; 
For the Son quickeneth whom He will. He says then, I c. 5, 21. 
came to do nothing but what the Father wills, for I have no 
will distinct from My Father's: all things that the Father 
hath are Mine. But this not now: He reserves these 
higher truths for the end of Has ministry. AUG. This is the Au. 
reason why He does not cast out those who come to Him. \ 5 ' 
For I came down from heaven not to do Mine own will, but 
the will of Him that sent Me. The soul departed from God, 
because it was proud. Pride casts us out, humility restores 
us. When a physician in the treatment of a disease, cures 
certain outward symptoms, but not the cause which produces 
them, his cure is only temporary. So long as the cause 
remains, the disease may return. That the cause then of all 
diseases, i. e. pride, might be eradicated, the Sou of God 
humbled Himself. Why art thou proud, O man? The Son 
of God humbled Himself for thee. It might shame thee, 
perhaps, to imitate a humble man; but imitate at least a 
humble God. And this is the proof of His humility: I came 
not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. 
Pride does its own will; humility the will of God. HILARY. Hiiar. 
Not that He does what He does not wish. He fulfils '. de 


obediently His Father's will, wishing also Himself to fulfil c. 9. 
that will. AUG. For this very reason therefore, I will 

out Him that cometh to Me; because I came not to do MineTr. xxv 

' T 

own will. I came to teach humility, by being humble ^ 
Myself. He that cometh to Me, is made a member of Me, 
and necessarily humble, because He will not do His own 
will, but the will of God ; and therefore is not cast out. He 
was cast out, as proud; he returns to Me humble, he is not 
sent away, except for pride again; he who keeps hts humility, 
falleth not from the truth. And further, that He does not 
cast out such, because He came not to do His will, He shews 
when He says, And this is the Father's will which hath sent 


Me, that of all which He hath given Me, I should lose 

Mat. 18, nothing. Every one of an humble mind is given to Him: It 

is not the will of your Father, that one of these little ones should 

perish. The swelling ones may perish ; of the little ones none 

Mat. 18, can ; for except ye be as a little child, ye shall not enter into 

Aug. the kingdom of heaven. AUG. They therefore who by God's 

de Cor. unerring providence are foreknown, and predestined, called, 

tia,c.ix. justified, glorified, even before their new birth, or before 

they are born at all, are already the sons of God, and cannot 

possibly perish ; these are they who truly come to Christ. 

By Him there is given also perseverance in good unto the 

end; which is given only to those who will not perish. 

Chrys. Those who do not persevere will perish. CHRYS. I should 

xliv. s. l se nothing; He lets them know, he does not desire his own 

honour, but their salvation. After these declarations, I will 

in no wise cast out, and / should lose nothing, He adds, 

But should raise it up at the last day. In the general 

resurrection the wicked will be cast out, according to Matthew, 

Mat.22, Take him, and cast him into outer darkness. And, Who is 


Mat.lO,We to cast both soul and body into hell. He often brings 
in mention of the resurrection for this purpose: viz. to warn 
men not to judge of God's providence from present events, 

u &- but to carry on their ideas to another world. AUG. See how 

19. the twofold resurrection is expressed here. He who cometh 
to Me, shall forthwith rise again ; by becoming humble, and 
a member of Me. But then He proceeds ; But I ivill raise 
him up at the last day. To explain the words, All that the 
Father hath given Me, and, 1 should lose nothing, He 
adds; And this is the will of Him that hath sent Me, that 
every one which seetlt the Son, and belicveth on Him, may have 
everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

c. 5, 24. Above He said, Whoso heareih My ivord, and believeth on Him 
that sent Me : now it is, Every one which seeth the Son, and 
believeth on Him. He does not say, believe on the Father, 
because it is the same thing to believe on the Father, and on 
the Son ; for as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath 
He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and again, That 
whoso seeth the Son and believeth on Him, should have ever 
lasting life ; i. e. by believing, by passing over to life, as at 

VER. 41 46. ST. JOHN. V 233 

the first resurrection. But this is only the first resurrection, 
He alludes to the second when He says, And I will raise 
him up at the last day. 

41. The Jews then murmured at him, because he 
said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 

42. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of 
Joseph, whose father and mother we know ? how is it 
then that he saith, I came down from heaven ? 

43. Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, 
Murmur not among yourselves. 

44. No man can come to me, except the Father 
which hath sent me draw him : and I will raise him up 
at the last day. 

45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be 
all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath 
heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto 

46. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save 
he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 

CHRYS. The Jews, so long as they thought to get food forchrys. 
their carnal eating, had no misgivings ; but when this hope ^"Y 
was taken away, then, we read, the Jews murmured at Him 
because He said, I am the bread which came down from 
heaven. This was only a pretence. The real cause of their 
complaint was that they were disappointed in their expecta 
tion of a bodily feast. As yet however they reverenced Him, 
for His miracle ; and only expressed their discontent by 
murmurs. What these were we read next : And they said, 
Is not this Jesus, the Son of Joseph, whose father and mother 
we know? how is it then that He saith, I came down from 
heaven? AUG. But they were far from being fit for that Aug. 
heavenly bread, and did not hunger for it. For they had^ r>xxvl 
not that hunger of the inner man. CHRY$. It is evident c'hrys. 
that they did not yet know of His miraculous birth : for they 
call Him the Son of Joseph. Nor are they blamed for this. 
Our Lord docs not reply, I am not the Son of Joseph : for 
the miracle of His birth would have overpowered them. 


And if the birth according to the flesh were above their 
belief, how much more that higher and ineffable birth. 
Aug. AUG. He took man's flesh upon Him, but not after the 
'manner of men; for, His Father being in heaven, He chose 
a mother upon earth, and was born of her without a father. 
The answer to the murmurers next follows : Jesus therefore 
answered and said unto them, Murmur not among your 
selves ; as if to say, I know why ye hunger not after this 
bread, and so cannot understand it, and do not seek it : No 
man can come to Me except the Father who hath sent Me 
draw him. This is the doctrine of grace: none cometh, 
except he be drawn. But whom the Father draws, and 
whom not, and why He draws one, and not another, presume 
not to decide, if thou wouldest avoid falling into error. Take 
the doctrine as it is given thee : and, if thou art not drawn, 
Chrys. pray that thou mayest be. CHRYS. But here the Manichees 
xlvi. 1. attack us, asserting that nothing is in our own power. Our 
Lord's words however do not destroy our free agency, but 
only shew that we need Divine assistance. For He is speak 
ing not of one who comes without the concurrence of his 
own will, but one who has many hindrances in the way of his 

Aug. coming. AUG. Now if we are drawn to Christ without our 


2. et sq. wn will? we believe without our own will ; the will is not 

exercised, but compulsion is applied. But, though a man 
can enter the Church involuntarily, he cannot believe other 
than voluntarily; for with the heart man believeth unto righ 
teousness. Therefore if he who is drawn, comes without his 
will, he does not believe ; if he does not believe, he does 
not come. For we do not come to Christ, by running, or 
walking, but by believing, not by the motion of the body, but 
the will of the mind. Thou art drawn by thy will. But what 
Ps. 36. is it to be drawn by the will ? Delight thou in the Lord, and 
He will give thee thy heart's desire. There is a certain 
craving of the heart, to which that heavenly bread is pleasant. 
If the Poet could say, " Trahit sua quemque voluptas," how 
much more strongly may we speak of a man being drawn to 
Christ, i. e. being delighted with truth, happiness, justice, 
eternal life, all which is Christ? Have the bodily senses 
their pleasures, and has not the soul hers ? Give me one 
who loves, who longs, who burns, who sighs for the source of 

VER. 41 46. ST. JOHN. 235 

his being and his eternal home; and he will know what I 
mean. But why did He say, Except my Father draw him ? 
If we are to be drawn, let us be drawn by Him to whom 
His love saith, Draw me, we will run after Thee. But Cant, i, 
let us see what is meant by it. The Father draws to the 
Son those who believe on the Son, as thinking that He has 
God for His Father. For the Father begat the Son equal to 
Himself; and whoso thinks and believes really and seriously 
that He on Whom He believes is equal to the Father, him the 
Father draws to the Son. Arius believed Him to be a 
creature ; the Father drew not him. Thomas says, Christ is 
only a man. Because he so believes, the Father draws him 
not. He drew Peter who said, Thou art the Christ, the Sow Mat. 16. 
of the living God; to whom accordingly it was told, For flesh 
and blood hath not revealed it unto tJiee, but My Father which 
is in heaven. That revelation is the drawing. For if earthly 
objects, when put before us, draw us; how much more shall 
Christ, when revealed by the Father ? For what doth the soul more 
long after than truth ? But here men hunger, there they will be 
filled. Wherefore He adds, And I will raise him up at the last 
day : as if He said, He shall be filled with that, for which 
he now thirsts, at the resurrection of the dead; for I will . 
raise him up. AUG. Or the Father draws to the Son, by the Aug. de 
works which He did by Him. CHRYS. Great indeed is the gtVet.'* 
Son's dignity; the Father draws men, and the Son raises them Chrys. 
up. This is no division of works, but an equality of power, ^"f^ 
He then shews the way in which the Father draws. It is 
written in the Prophets, And they shall all be taught of 
God. You see the excellence of faith ; that it cannot be 
learnt from men, or by the teaching of man, but only from 
God Himself. The Master sits, dispensing His truth to all, 
pouring out His doctrine to all. But if all are to be taught 
of God, how is it that some believe not ? Because all here 
only means the generality, or, all that have the will. AUG. Au _ 

Or thus; When a schoolmaster is the only one in a town, we de i* ra ' 

say loosely, This man teaches all here to read ; not that all Sancto- 

learn of him, but that he teaches all who do learn. And in rum .. 

C. Till. 

the same way we say that God teaches all men to come to A 
Christ: not that all do come, but that no one comes in any super 
other way. AUG. All the men of that kingdom shall 


taught of God ; they shall hear nothing from men : for, 
though in this world what they hear with the outward ear is 
from men, yet what they understand is given them from 
within ; from within is light and revelation. I force certain 
sounds into your ears, but unless He is within to reveal 
their meaning, how, O ye Jews, can ye acknowledge Me, ye 
whom the Father hath not taught? BEDE. He uses the 
plural, In the Prophets, because all the Prophets being filled 
with one and the same spirit, their prophecies, though dif 
ferent, all tended to the same end ; and with whatever any 
one of them says, all the rest agree ; as with the prophecy of 
Joel 2, Joel, All shall be taught of God. GLOSS. These words are 
Quiade- n t found in Joel, but something like them; Be glad then 

children of Sion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for 
rem jus- He hath given you a Teacher. And more expressly in Isaiah, 
M f hy children shall be taught of the Lord. CHEYS. 

Isa. 54, An important distinction. All men before learnt the things of 
Chrys. God through men ; now they learn them through the Only 

Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. AUG. All that are taught 
Aug. of God come to the Son, because they have heard and learnt 
PT&- f rom t he F a th er O f the Son : wherefore He proceeds, Every 
Sancto- man that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh 
yiii to Me. But if every one that hath heard and learnt of the 
et seq. Father cometh, every one that hath not heard of the Father 
hath not learnt. For beyond the reach of the bodily senses 
is this school, in which the Father is heard, and men taught 
to come to the Son. Here we have not to do with the carnal 
ear, but the ear of the heart ; for here is the Son Himself, 
the Word by which the Father teacheth, and together with 
Him the Holy Spirit : the operations of the three Persons 
being inseparable from each other. This is attributed how 
ever principally to the Father, because from Him proceeds 
the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore the grace which 
the Divine bounty imparts in secret to men's hearts, is 
rejected by none from hardness of heart: seeing it is given 
in the first instance, in order to take away hard-heartedness. 
Why then does He not teach all to come to Christ? Because 
those whom He teaches, He teaches in mercy ; and those 
whom He teaches not, He teaches not in judgment. But if 
we say, that those, whom He teaches not, wish to learn, we 

VER. 47 51. ST. JOHN. 237 

shall be answered, Why then is it said, Wilt thou not turn Ps.84,6. 
again, and quicken us ? If God does not make willing minds 
out of unwilling, why prayeth the Church, according to our 
Lord's command, for her persecutors ? For no one can say, 
I believed, and therefore He called me : rather the prevent 
ing mercy of God called him, that he might believe. AUG. Aug. 
Behold then how the Father dravveth ; not by laying a neces- 7< r e t 
sity on man, but by teaching the truth. To draw, belongeth se( i- 
to God : Every one that hath heard., and hath learned of the 
Father, cometh to Me. What then ? Hath Christ taught 
nothing ? Not so. What if men saw not the Father teach 
ing, but saw the Son. So then the Father taught, the Son 
spoke. As I teach you by My word, so the Father teaches 
by His Word. But He Himself explains the matter, if we 
read on : Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He 
which is of God, He hath seen the Father ; as if He said, 
Do not when I tell you, Every man that hath heard and 
learnt of the Father, say to yourselves, We have never seen 
the Father, and how then can we have learnt from Him? 
Hear Him then in Me. I know the Father, and am from Him, 
just as a word is from him who speaks it ; i. e. not the mere 
passing sound, but that which remaineth with the speaker, 
and draweth the hearer. CHRYS. We are all from God. Chrys. 
That which belongs peculiarly and principally to the Son, x ivi.s.l. 
He omits the mention of, as being unsuitable to the weakness 
of His hearers. 

47. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth 
on me hath everlasting life. 

48. I am that bread of life. 

49. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, 
and are dead. 

50. This is the bread which cometh down from 
heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 

51. I am the living bread which came down from 
heaven : if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for 


AUG. Our Lord wishes to reveal what He is ; Verily, verily, Tr - xxvi - 


/ say unto you, He that believeth on Me, hath everlasting 
life. As if He said; He that believeth on Me hath Me: but 
what is it to have Me ? It is to have eternal life : for the 
Word which was in the beginning with God is life eternal, 
and the life was the light of men. Life underwent death, 
Chrys. that life might kill death. CHRYS. The multitude being 

( IN ic. ) 

Thtoph. urgent for bodily food, and reminding Him of that which 
was given to their fathers, He tells them that the manna 
was only a type of that spiritual food which was now to be 
Chrys. tasted in reality, / am that bread of life. CHRYS. He calls 
xiv. i. Himself the bread of life, because He constitutes one life, 
Au g- . both present, and to come. AUG. And because they had 
11.' 'taunted Him with the manna, He adds, Your fathers did 
eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. Your fathers 
they are, for ye are like them ; murmuring sons of murmur 
ing fathers. For in nothing did that people offend God 
more, than by their murmurs against Him. And therefore 
are they dead, because what they saw they believed, what 
Chrys. th e y did not see they believed not, nor understood. CHRYS. 
xlvi. 2. The addition, In the wilderness, is not put in without mean 
ing, but to remind them- how short a time the manna lasted ; 
only till the entrance into the land of promise. And because 
the bread which Christ gave seemed inferior to the manna, 
in that the latter had come down from heaven, while the 
former was of this world, He adds, This is the bread which 
Aug. cometh down from heaven. AUG. This was the bread the 
i ML m anna typified, this was the bread the altar typified. Both 
the one and the other were sacraments, differing in symbol, 
l Cor. alike in the thing signified. Hear the Apostle, They did all 
Chrys. ea ^ ^ ne same spiritual meat. CHRYS. He then gives them 
Hom. a strong reason for believing that they were given for higher 
privileges than their fathers. Their fathers eat manna and 
were dead ; whereas of this bread He says, that a man may 
eat thereof, and not die. The difference of the two is evident 
from the difference of their ends. By bread here is meant 
wholesome doctrine, and faith in Him, or His body: for these 
Aug. are the preservatives of the soul. AUG. But are we, who eat 
Tr.xxvi. fa e b rea( j th a t cometh down from heaven, relieved from death ? 
From visible and carnal death, the death of the body, we are 
not: we shall die, even as they died. But from spiritual 

VER< 51. ST. JOHN. 

death which their fathers suffered, we are delivered. Moses 
and many acceptable of God, eat the manna, and died not, 
because they understood that visible food in a spiritual 
sense, spiritually tasted it, and were spiritually filled with it. 
And \ve too at this day receive the visible food; but the 
Sacrament is one thing, the virtue of the Sacrament another. 
Many a one receiveth from the Altar, and perisheth in 
receiving; eating and drinking his own damnation, as saithi Cor. 
the Apostle. To eat then the heavenly bread spiritually, is 11 ' 29 ' 
to bring to the Altar an innocent mind. Sins, though they 
be daily, are not deadly. Before you go to the Altar, 
attend to the prayer you repeat: Forgive us our debts, as we Matt. 6, 
forgive our debtors. If thou forgivest, thou art forgiven : 12< 
approach confidently; it is bread, not poison. None then 
that eateth of this bread, shall die. But we speak of the 
virtue of the Sacrament, not the visible Sacrament itself; of 
the inward, not of the outward eater. ALCUIN. Therefore I 
say, He that eateth this bread, dieth not : / am the living 
bread which came down from heaven. THEOPHYL. ByTheoph. 
becoming incarnate, He was not then first man, and after 
wards assumed Divinity, as Nestorius fables. AUG. The Aug. 
manna too came down from heaven ; but the manna was \%\ 
shadow, this is substance. ALCDIN. But men must be quick 
ened by my life : If any man eat of this bread, he shall live, 
not only now by faith and righteousness, but for ever. 

51. And the bread that I will give is my flesh, 
which I will give for the life of the world. 

AUG. Our Lord pronounces Himself to be bread, not only Gloss. 
in respect of that Divinity, which feeds all things, but also in 
respect of that human nature, which was assumed by the 
Word of God: And the bread, He says, that I will give is 
My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. BEDE. 
This bread our Lord then gave, when He delivered to His 
disciple the mystery of His Body and Blood, and offered 
Himself to God the Father on the altar of the cross. For 
the life of the world, i. e. not for the elements, but for man 
kind, who are called the world. THEOPHYL. Which / shall 
give: this shews His power; for it shews that He was not 


crucified as a servant, in subjection to the Father, but of his 
own accord ; for though He is said to have been given up by 
the Father, yet He delivered Himself up also. And observe, 
the bread which is taken by us in the mysteries, is not only 
the sign of Christ's flesh, but is itself the very flesh of 
Christ; for He does not say, The bread which I will give, is the 
sign of My flesh, but, is My flesh. The bread is by a mys 
tical benediction conveyed in unutterable words, and by the 
indwelling of the Holy Ghost, transmuted into the flesh of 
Christ. But why see we not the flesh ? Because, if the flesh 
were seen, it would revolt us to such a degree, that we 
should be unable to partake of it. And therefore in conde 
scension to our infirmity, the mystical food is given to us 
under an appearance suitable to our minds. He gave His 
flesh for the life of the world, in that, by dying, He destroyed 
death. By the life of the world too, I understand the resur 
rection ; our Lord's death having brought about the resur 
rection of the whole human race. It may mean too the 
sanctified, beatified, spiritual life; for though all have not 
attained to this life, yet our Lord gave Himself for the world, 
and, as far as lies in Him, the whole world is sanctified. 
U S- . AUG. But when does flesh receive the bread which He calls 


13. His flesh ? The faithful know and receive the Body of Christ, 
if they labour to be the body of Christ. And they become 
the body of Christ, if they study to live by the Spirit of 
Christ: for that which lives by the Spirit of Christ, is the 
body of Christ. This bread the Apostle sets forth, where he 

i Cor. says, We being many are one body. O sacrament of mercy, 
O sign of unity, O bond of love! Whoso wishes to live, 
let him draw nigh, believe, be incorporated, that he may be 

52. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, 
saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 

53. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say 
unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, 
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 

54. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, 
hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 

VER. 5-2 54. ST. JOHN. 241 

AUG. The Jews not understanding what was the bread of Aug. 
peace, strove among themselves, saying, How can this man J" 3 " 1 
give us His flesh to eat ? Whereas they who eat the bread 
strive not among themselves, for God makes them to dwell 
together in unity. BEDE. The Jews thought that our Lord 
would divide His flesh into pieces, and give it them to eat: 
and so mistaking Him, strove. CHRYS. As they thought itChrys. 
impossible that He should do as He said, i. e. give them^'^ 
His flesh to eat, He shews them that it was not only possible, 
but necessary: Then said Jesus unto them, Verily, verily, 
I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, 
and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. AUG. As if He Aug. 
said, The sense in which that bread is eaten, and the mode j^ r - xxvl - 
of eating it, ye know not; but, Except ye eat the flesh of the 
Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. 
BEDE. And that this might not seem addressed to them 
alone, He declares universally, Wlwso eateth My flesh, and 
drinketh My blood, hath eternal life. AUG. And that they Aug. 
might not understand him to speak of this life, and make that \l' 
an occasion of striving, He adds, Hath eternal life. This 
then he hath not who eateth not that flesh, nor drinketh that 
blood. The temporal life men may have without Him, the 
eternal they cannot. This is not true of material food. If we 
do not take that indeed, we shall not live, neither do we live, 
if we take it: for either disease, or old age, or some accident 
kills us after all. Whereas this meat and drink, i. e. the 
Body and Blood of Christ, is such that he that taketh it not 
hath not life, and he that taketh it hath life, even life eternal. 
THEOPHYL. For it is not the flesh of man simply, but of God: Theoph. 
and it makes man divine, by inebriating him, as it were, with ln v< 52< 
divinity. AUG. There are some who promise men deliverance Aug. 
from eternal punishment, if they are washed in Baptism and v^liou. 
partake of Christ's Body, whatever lives they live. The c. 25. 
Apostle however contradicts them, where he says, The works Gal. 6, 
of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornica- 19< et 
tion, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, 
murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which 
I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that 
they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of 



God. Let us examine what is meant here. He who is in 
the unity of His body, (i. e. one of the Christian members,) 
the Sacrament of which body the faithful receive when they 
communicate at the Altar; he is truly said to eat the body, 
and drink the blood of Christ. And heretics and schis 
matics, who are cut off from the unify of the body, may 
receive the same Sacrament; but it does not profit them, 
nay, rather is hurtful, as tending to make their judgment 
heavier, or their forgiveness later. Nor ought they to feel 
secure in their abandoned and damnable ways, who, by 
the iniquity of their lives, desert righteousness, i. e. Christ; 
either by fornication, or other sins of the like kind. Such 
are not to be said to eat the body of Christ ; forasmuch 
as they are not to be counted among the members of Christ. 
For, not to mention other things, men cannot be members of 

Christ, and at the same time members of an harlot. AUG. By 


super this meat and drink then, He would have us understand 
v-; 1 is tne soc i et y f His body, and His members, which is the 
Church, in the predestined, and called, and justified, and 
glorified saints and believers. The Sacrament whereof, i. e. 
of the unity of the body and blood of Christ, is administered, 
in some places daily, in others on such and such days from 
the Lord's Table: and from the Lord's Table it is received by 
some to their salvation, by others to their condemnation. 
But the thing itself of which this is the Sacrament, is for our 
salvation to every one who partakes of it, for condemnation 
to none. To prevent us supposing that those who, by virtue 
of that meat and drink, were promised eternal life, would not 
die in the body, He adds, And I will raise him up at the 
last day; i. e. to that eternal life, a spiritual rest, which the 
spirits of the Saints enter into. But neither shall the body 
be defrauded of eternal life, but shall be endowed with it at 
the resurrection of the dead in the last day. 

55. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is 
drink indeed. 

56. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my 
blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 

57. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live 

VER. 55 59. ST. JOHN. 243 

by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live 
by me. 

58. This is that bread which came down from 
heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are 
dead : he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 

59. These things said he in the synagogue, as he 
taught in Capernaum. 

BEDE. He had said above, Whoso eateth My flesh and 
drinketh My blood, hath eternal life: and now to shew the 
great difference between bodily meat and drink, and the 
spiritual mystery of His body and blood, He adds, For My 
flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. CHKYS. Chrys. 
i. e. this is no enigma, or parable, but ye must really eat the xl '] 
body of Christ; or He means to say that the true meat was 
He who saved the soul. AUG. Or thus : Whereas men Aug. 
desire meat and drink to satisfy hunger and thirst, this] x 
effect is only really produced by that meat and drink, which 
makes the receivers of it immortal and incorruptible; i. e. 
the society of Saints, where is peace and unity, full and 
perfect. On which account our Lord has chosen for the 
types of His body and blood, things which become one out 
of many. Bread is a quantity of grains united into one 
mass, wine a quantity of grapes squeezed together. Then 
He explains what it is to eat His body and drink His blood: 
He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth 
in Me, and I in him. So then to partake of that meat and 
that drink, is to dwell in Christ and Christ in thee. He 
that dwelleth not in Christ, and in whom Christ dwelleth not, 
neither eateth His flesh, nor drinketh His blood: but rather 
eateth and drinketh the sacrament of it to his own damnation. 
CHRYS. Or, having given a promise of eternal life to those Chrys. 
that eat Him, He says this to confirm it: He that eateth My x l\i. i. 
flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. 
AUG. As for those, as indeed there are many, who either eat Au g- 
that flesh and drink that blood hypocritically, or, who 
having eaten, become apostates, do they dwell in Christ, and 
Christ in them ? Nay, but there is a certain mode of eating 
that flesh, and drinking that blood, in the which he that 



eateth and drinketh, dwelleth in Christ, and Christ in him. 
^ u ^j v AUG. That is to say, such an one eateth the body and 
Dei, ]. i. drinketh the blood of Christ not in the sacramental sense, 
Chrys? but * n rea ^ l j- CnRYs. And because I live, it is manifest 
Horn, that he will live also: As the living Father hath sent Me t 


and I live by the Father, even so he that eateth Me, even he 
Aug. shall live by Me. As if He said, As the Father liveth, 
Dom. 'so do I live; adding, lest you should think Him unbegotten, 
(Nic.) J5y the Father, meaning that He has His source in the 
Father. He that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me; the 
life here meant is noi life simply, but the justified life: for 
even unbelievers live, who never eat of that flesh at all. Nor 
is it of the general resurrection He speaks, (for all will rise 
Au g- . again,) but of the resurrection to glory, and reward. AUG. 
a. 19. He saith not, As I eat the Father, and live by the Father, 
so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me. For 
the Son does not grow better by partaking of the Father, 
as we do by partaking of the Son, i. e. of His one body 
and blood, which this eating and drinking signifies. So 
that His saying, 1 live by the Father, because He is from 
Him, must not be understood as detracting from His equality. 
Nor do the words, Even lie that eateth Me, the same shall 
live by Me, give us the equality that He has. He does not 
equalize, but only mediates between God and man. If, 
however, we understand the words, / Use by the Father, in 
c. 14, 28. the sense of those below, My Father is greater than I, then 
it is as if He said, That I live by the Father, i. e. refer my 
1 exin- life to Him, as my superior, my 1 humiliation in my incar 
nation is the cause; but He who lives by Me, lives by Me 
by virtue of partaking of My flesh. 

Hilar. HILARY. Of the truth then of the body and blood of Christ, 
Trin. 6 c. no room f r doubting remains: for, by the declaration of our 
14. Lord Himself, and by the teaching of our own faith, the flesh 
is really flesh, and the blood really blood. This then is our 
principle of life. While we are in the flesh, Christ dwelleth 
o.l4, 19. in us by His flesh. And we shall live by Him, according 
as He liveth. If then we live naturally by partaking of Him 
according to the flesh, He also liveth naturally by the in 
dwelling of the Father according to the Spirit. His birth 
did not give Him an alien or different nature from the 

VER. 5559. ST. JOHN. 245 

Father. AUG. That we who cannot obtain eternal life of Aug. 
ourselves, might live by the eating that bread, He descended 0.2""' 
from heaven: Thisisthebreadtchich cometh down from heaven. 
HILARY. He calls Himself the bread, because He is the origin Hilar. 

A *P " 

of His own body. And lest it should be thought that the|/ 18 " n 
virtue and nature of the Word had given way to the flesh, 
He calls the bread His flesh, that, inasmuch as the bread 
came down from heaven, it might be seen that His body was 
not of human conception, but a heavenly body. To say that 
the bread is His own, is to declare that the Word assumed 
His body Himself. THEOPHYL. For we do not eat God 
simply, God being impalpable and incorporeal; nor again, 
the flesh of man simply, which would not profit us. But 
God having taken flesh into union with Himself, that flesh 
is quickening. Not that it has changed its own for the 
Divine nature ; but, just as heated iron remains iron, with the 
action of the heat in it: so our Lord's flesh is quickening, as 
being the flesh of the Word of God. BEDE. And to shew 
the wide interval between the shadow and the light, the 
type and the reality, He adds, Not as your fathers did eat 
manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall lice 
for ever. AUG. The death here meant is death eternal. For Aug. 
even those who eat Christ are subject to natural death; but 20 r ' xxvl * 
they live for ever, because Christ is everlasting life. CHRYS. Chrys. 
For if it was possible without harvest or fruit of the earth, or^'j 
any such thing, to preserve the lives of the Israelites of old 
for forty years, much more will He be able to do this with 
that spiritual food, of which the manna is the type. He 
knew how precious a thing life was in men's eyes, and 
therefore repeats His promise of life often; just as the Old 
Testament had done; only that it only offered length of life, Exod. 
He life without end. This promise was an abolition of that De ' u tf' 
sentence of death, which sin had brought upon us. These 22 > 7. 
things said He in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum ; 3, 14. 

where many displays of His power took place. He 
in the synagogue and in the temple, with the view of attract- Prov. 3, 
ing the multitude, and as a sign that He was not acting in 
opposition to the Father. BEDE. Mystically, Capernaum, 
which means beautiful town, stands for the world: the 
synagogue, for the Jewish people. The meaning is, that our 


Lord hath, by the mystery of the incarnation, manifested 
Himself to the world, and also taught the Jewish people His 

60. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had 
heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can 
hear it? 

61. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples 
murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend 

62. What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend 
up where he was before ? 

63. It is the spirit that quick eneth; the flesh pro- 
fiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they 
are spirit, and they are life. 

64. But there are some of you that believe not. For 
Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that 
believed not, and who should betray him. 

65. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that 
no man can come unto me, except it were given unto 
him of my Father. 

66. From that time many of his disciples went back, 
and walked no more with him. 

67. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also 
go away ? 

68. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to 
whom shall we go ? thou hast the words of eternal 

69. And we believe and are sure that thou art that 
Christ, the Son of the living God. 

70. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you 
twelve, and one of you is a devil ? 

71. He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon : 
for he it was that should betray him, being one of the 

VER. 60 71. ST. JOHN. 247 

AUG. Such is our Lord's discourse. The people did not Aug. 
perceive that it had a deep meaning, or, that grace went along 2 r>xr 
with it: but receiving the matter in their own way, and 
taking His words in a human sense, understood Him as if 
He spoke of cutting of the flesh of the Word into pieces, for 
distribution to those who believed on Him : Many therefore, 
not of His enemies, but even of His disciples, when they 
heard this, said, This is an hard saying, who can hear it ? 
CHRYS. i. e. difficult to receive, too much for their weakness, Chrys. 
They thought He spoke above Himself, and more loftily than xivij/2. 
He had a right to do; and so said they, Who can bear it ? 
which was answering in fact for themselves, that they could 
not. AUG. And if His disciples thought that saying hard, Aug. 
what would His enemies think ? Yet it was necessary to 2 r ' x 
declare a thing, which would be unintelligible to men. God's 
mysteries should draw men's attention, not enmity. THEO- 
PI-IYL. When you hear, however, of His disciples murmuring, 
understand not those really such, but rather some who, as 
far as their air and behaviour went, seemed to be receiving 
instruction from Him. For among His disciples were some 
of the people, who were called such, because they stayed 
some time with His disciples. AUG. They spoke, however, Aug. 
so as not to be heard by Him. But He, who knew what was 3 r ' xx 
in them, heard within Himself: When Jesus knew within Him 
self that His disciples murmured at it, He said unto them, Doth 
this offend you f ALCUIN. i. e. that I said, you should eat My 
flesh, and drink My blood. CHRYS. The revelation however chrys. 
of these hidden things was a mark of His Divinity: hence the Ho - 
meaning of what follows; And if ye shall see the Son of man 
ascend up where He was before ; supply, What will ye say ? 
He said the same to Nathanael, Because I said to thee, I saw 
thee under the fig tree, believesl thou 'i Thou shall see greater 
things than these. He does not add difHculty to difficulty, 
but to convince them by the number and greatness of His 
doctrines. For if He had merely said that He came down 
from heaven, without adding any thing further, he would have 
offended His hearers more; but by saying that His flesh is 
the life of the world, and that as He was sent by the living 
Father, so He liveth by the Father; and at last by adding 
that He came down from heaven, He removed all doubt. Nor 


does He mean to scandalize His disciples, but rather to 

remove their scandal. For so long as they thought Him the 

Son of Joseph, they could not receive His doctrines ; but if 

they once believed that He had come down from heaven, 

and would ascend thither, they would be much more willing 

and able to admit them. AUG. Or, these words are an 

answer to their mistake. They supposed that He was 

going to distribute His body in bits: whereas He tells 

them now, that He should ascend to heaven whole and 

entire: What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up 

where He was before ? ye will then see that He does not 

distribute His body in the way ye think. Again; Christ 

became the Son of man, of the Virgin Mary here upon earth, 

and took flesh upon Him: He says then, What and if ye 

shall see the Son of man ascend up where He ivas before? 

to let us know that Christ, God and man, is one person, not 

two; and the object of one faith, not a quaternity, but a 

Trinity. He was the Son of man in heaven, as He was Son 

of God upon earth ; the Son of God upon earth by assumption 

of the flesh, the Son of man in heaven, by the unity of the 

person. THEOPHYL. Do not suppose from this that the body 

of Christ came down from heaven, as the heretics Marcion 

and Apollinarius say; but only that the Son of God and the 

Chrys. Son of man are one and the same. CHRYS. He tries to 

xlvH. 3. remove their difficulties in another way, as follows, // /* the 

spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: that is 

to say, You ought to understand My words in a spiritual 

sense: he who understands them carnally is profited nothing. 

To interpret carnally is to take a proposition in its bare 

literal meaning, and allow no other. But we should not 

judge of mysteries in this way; but examine them with the 

inward eye; i. e. understand them spiritually. It was 

carnal to doubt how our Lord could give His flesh to eat. 

What then? Is it not real flesh? Yea, verily. In saying 

then that the flesh profiteth nothing, He does not speak of 

His own flesh, but that of the carnal hearer of His word. 

Aug. AUG. Or thus, the flesh profiteth nothing. They had under- 

xxvii! stood by His flesh, as it were, of a carcase, that was to be 

8 - 5 cut up, and sold in the shambles, not of a body animated 

by the spirit. Join the spirit to the flesh, and it profiteth 

VER. t>0 71. ST. JOHN. 249 

much: for if the flesh profited not, the Word would not 
have become flesh, and dwelt among us. The Spirit hath 
done much for our salvation, by means of the flesh. AUG. 
For the flesh does not cleanse of itself, but by the Word 
who assumed it: which Word, being the principle of life in 
all things, having taken up soul and body, cleanseth the 
souls and bodies of those that believe. It is the spirit, then, 
that quickeneth: the flesh prqfiteth nothing; i. e. the flesh 
as they understood it. 1 do not, He seems to say, give My 
body to be eaten in this sense. He ought not to think of 
the flesh carnally: The words that I speak unto you, they 
are spirit, and they are life. CHRYS. i. e. are spiritual, have Chrys. 
nothing carnal in them, produce no effects of the natural x i^' 2 
sort; not being under the dominion of that law of necessity, 
and order of nature established on earth. AUG. If then Aug. 
thou understandest them spiritually, they are life and spirit nxxvu ' 
to thee : if carnally, even then they are life and spirit, but 
not to thee. Our Lord declares that in eating His body, and 
drinking His blood, we dwell in Him, and He in us. But 
what has the power to affect this, except love? The love of -Rom. 6, 
God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which 5 ' 
is given to us. CHRYS. Having spoken of His words being Chrys. 
taken carnally, He adds, But there are some of you that nxlvn - 
believe not. Some, He says, not including His disciples in 
the number. This insight shews His high nature. AUG. He Aug. 
says not, There are some among you who understand not; J r ^ xxvlu 
but gives the reason why they do not understand. The 
Prophet said, Except ye believe, ye shall not understand*. i$. 7, 9. 
For how can he who opposes be quickened ? An adversary, 
though he avert not his face, yet closes his mind to the ray 
of light which should penetrate him. But let men believe, 
and open their eyes, and they will be enlightened. CHRYS. Chrys. 
To let you know that it was before these words, and not^'*"' 
after, that the people murmured and were offended, the 
Evangelist adds, For Jesus knew from the beginning, who 
they were that believed not, and who should betray Him. 
THEOPHYL. The Evangelist wishes to shew us, that He 
knew all things before the foundation of the world: which 
was a proof of His divinity. AUG. And after distinguishing Aug. 

Be established. Non permanebitis, Vulg. Ir.xxvn. 


those who believed from those who did not believe, our 
Lord gives the reason of the unbelief of the latter, And He 
said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto 
Chrys. Me, except it were given him of My Father. CHRYS. As if 
xlviTk ^ e sa id, Men's unbelief does not disturb or astonish Me: 
I know to whom the Father hath given to come to Me. He 
mentions the leather, to shew first that He had no eye to 
His own glory; secondly, that God was His Father, and not 
Aug. Joseph. AUG. So then (our) faith is given to us: and no 
'small gift it is. Wherefore rejoice if thou believest; but be 
i Cor. no t lifted up, for what hast thou which thou didst not receive ? 
And that this grace is given to some, and not to others, no 
one can doubt, without going against the plainest declarations 
of Scripture. As for the question, why it is not given to all, 
this cannot disquiet the believer, who knows that in con 
sequence of the sin of one man, all are justly liable to con 
demnation; and that no blame could attach to God, even if 
none were pardoned; it being of His great mercy only that 
so many are. And why He pardons one rather than another, 
rests with Him, whose judgments are unsearchable, and His 
ways past finding out. 

And from that time many of Hie disciples went back, and 

Chrys. walked no more with Him. CHRYS. He does not say, 

xlvih's withdrew 1 ', but went back, i. e. from being good hearers, from 

Aug. the belief which they once had. AUG. Being cut off from 

g r ' xxvu *the body, their life was gone. They were no longer in the 

body; they were created among the unbelieving. There 

went back not a few, but many after Satan, not after Christ; 

i Tim. as the Apostle says of some women, For some had already 

turned aside after Satan. Our Lord says to Peter, Get thee 

Chrys. behind Me. He does not tell Peter to go after Satan. CHRYS. 

xlvi. 2. But it may be asked, what reason was there for speaking 

words to them which did not edify, but might rather have 

injured them? It was very useful and necessary; for this 

reason, they had been just now urgent in petitioning for 

bodily food, and reminding Him of that which had been 

given to their fathers. So He reminds them here of spiritual 

food; to shew that all those miracles were typical. They 

ought not then to have been offended, but should have 

iff TV. ovriffu. 

VER. 60 71. ST. JOHN. 251 

enquired of Him further. The scandal was owing to their 
fatuity, not to the difficulty of the truths declared by our 
Lord. AUG. And perhaps this took place for our consola- Au s- 

, . Tr.xxvii. 

tion; since it sometimes happens that a man says what is g. 
true, and what He says is not understood, and they which 
hear are offended and go. Then the man is sorry he spoke 
what was true ; for he says to himself, I ought not to have 
spoken it; and yet our Lord was in the same case. He 
spoke the truth, and destroyed many. But He is not 
disturbed at it, beeause He knew from the beginning which 
would believe. We, if this happens to us, are disturbed. 
Let us desire consolation then from our Lord's example; and 
withal use caution in our speech. BEDE. Our Lord knew well 
the intentions of the other disciples which stayed, as to staying 
or going; but yet He put the question to them, in order to 
prove their faith, and hold it up to imitation : Then said 
Jews unto the twelve, Will i/e also go away? CHRYS. This Chrys. 
was the right way to retain them. Had He praised theirf,^^]^ 
they would naturally, as men do, have thought that they 
were conferring a favour upon Christ, by not leaving Him: 
by shewing, as He did, that He did not need their company, 
He made them hold the more closely by Him. He does 
not say, however, Go away, as this would have been to cast 
them off, but asks whether they wished to go away; thus pre 
venting their staying with Him from any feeling of shame or 
necessity: for to stay from necessity would be the same as going 
away. Peter, who loved his brethren, replies for the whole 

number, Lord, to whom shall we no ? AUG. As if he said, Thou 4 ug ' .. 

easiest us from Thee: give us another to whom we shall go, . 9. 

if we leave Thee. CHRYS. A speech of the greatest love: Chrys. 
proving that Christ was more precious to them than father x ijT. 3. 
or mother. And that it might not seem to be said, from 
thinking that there was no one whose guidance they could 
look to, he adds, Thou hast the words of eternal life: 
which shewed that he remembered his Master's words, 
/ will raise Him up, and, hath eternal life. The Jews 
said, Is not this the Son of Joseph f t how differently Peter: 
We believe and are sure, that Thou art that Christ, the 
Son of the living God. AUG. For we believed, in order Aug 
to know. Had we wished first to know, and then to lr - xxv "- 

S 9 

believe, we could never have been able to believe. This 


we believe, and know, Unit Thou art lite Christ the Son of 

God; i. e. that Thou art eternal life, and that in Thy flesh and 

Chrys. blood Thou givest what Thou art Thyself. CHRYS. Peter 

xiH. 3. however having said, We believe, our Lord excepts Judas 

from the number of those who believed: Jesus answered 

them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a 

devil? i. e. Do not suppose that, because you have followed 

Me, I shall not reprove the wicked among you. It is worth 

enquiring, why the disciples say nothing here, whereas 

Matt, afterwards they ask in fear, Lord, is it I? But Peter had not 

M? 22 \6 y et keen told, Get thee behind Me, Satan; and therefore had 
23. ' as yet no fear of this sort. Our Lord however does not say 
here, One of you shall betray Me, but, is a devil: so that 
they did not know what the speech meant, and thought that 
it was only a case of wickedness in general, that He was 
reproving. The Gentiles on the subject of election blame 
Christ foolishly. His election does not impose any necessity 
upon the person with respect to the future, but leaves it in 
the power of His will to be saved or perish. BEDE. Or we 
must say, that He elected the eleven for one purpose, the 
twelfth for another: the eleven to fill the place of Apostles, 
and persevere in it unto the end; the twelfth to the service 
of betraying Him, which was the means of saving the human 
Aug. race. AUG. He was elected to be an involuntary and 
Tr.xxvii. unconscious instrument of producing .the greatest good. For 
as the wicked turn the good works of God to an evil use, so 
reversely God turns the evil works of man to good. What 
can be worse than what Judas did? Yet our Lord made 
a good use of his wickedness; allowing Himself to be 
betrayed, that He might redeem us. In, Have I not chosen 
you twelve, twelve seems to be a sacred number used in the 
case of those, who were to spread the doctrine of the Trinity 
through the four quarters of the world. Nor was the virtue 
of that number impaired, by one perishing; inasmuch as 
Greg, another was substituted in his room. GREG. One of you is 
. Mo r.^- a devil: the body b is here named after its head. CHRYS. 

1. X1I1.C. * 

xxxiv. Mark the wisdom of Christ: He neither, by exposing him, 
Horn! unakes him shameless and contentious; nor again emboldens 
xlvii. 4. him, by allowing him to think himself concealed. 

b i. e. the whole body of wicked. Judas, as being one of that body, is named 
after its head, the devil. 


1. After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for 
he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought 
to kill him. 

2. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. 

3. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart 
hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may 
see the works that thou doest. 

4. For there is no man that doeth any thing in 
secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. 
If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. 

5. For neither did his brethren believe in him. 

6. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet 
come : but your time is alway ready. 

7. The world cannot hate you: but me it hateth, 
because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. 

8. Go ye up unto this feast : I go not up yet unto 
this feast; for my time is not yet fully come. 

AUG. As the believer in Christ would have in time 
come to hide himself from persecution, that no guilt might * xv '"' 2 ' 
attach to such concealment, the Head began with doing Him 
self, what He sanctioned in the member ; After these things 
Jesus walked in Galilee : for he would not ivalk in Jewry , 
because the Jews sought to kill Him. BEDE. The connexion 
of this passage admits of much taking place in the interval 
previously. Judeea and Galilee are divisions of the province 
of Palestine. Judaea has its name from the tribe of Judah ; 
but it embraces not only the territories of Judah, but of 
Benjamin, all of which were called Juda3a, because Judah 


was the royal tribe. Galilee has its name, from the milky, 
i. e. white, colour of its inhabitants; Galilee being Greek for 
Aag.Tr. milk. AUG. It is not meant that our Lord could not walk 
xxvin.2. amoll g t h e j ews? an( J escape being killed ; for He had this 
power, whenever He chose to shew it : but He set the 
example of so doing, as an accommodation to our weakness. 
He had not lost His power, but He indulged our frailty. 
Chrys. CHRYS. That is to say, He displayed the attribute both of 
xliii'. i. divinity and humanity. He fled from His persecutors as 
man, He remained and appeared amongst them as God ; 
being really both. THEOPHYL. He withdrew too now to 
Galilee, because the hour of His passion was not yet come ; 
and He thought it useless to stay in the midst of His ene 
mies, when the effect would only have been to irritate them 
the more. The time at which this happened is then given ; 
Aug.Tr. Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. AUG. 
' What the feast of tabernacles is, we read in the Scriptures. 
They used to make tents on the festival, like those in which 
they lived during their journey in the desert, after their 
departure from Egypt. They celebrated this feast in com 
memoration of the good things the Lord had done for them ; 
though they were the very people who were about to slay 
the Lord. It is called the day of the feast", though it lasted 
Chrys. many days. CHRYS. It appears here, that a considerable 
xlviii i.ti irie had passed since the last events. For when our Lord 
sat upon the mount, it was near the feast of the Passover, 
and now it is the feast of tabernacles : so that in the five 
intermediate months the Evangelist has related nothing but 
the miracle of the loaves, and the conversation with those 
who ate of them. As our Lord was unceasingly working 
miracles, and holding disputes with people, the Evangelists 
could not relate all; but only aimed at giving those, in which 
complaint or opposition had followed on the part of the Jews, 
as was the case here. THEOPHYL. His brethren saw that 
He was not preparing to go to the feast: His brethren therefore 
said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea. BEDE. 
Meaning to say, Thou doest miracles, and only a few see 
them : go to the royal city, where the rulers are, that they 
may see Thy miracles, and so Thou obtain praise. And as 
* St. Augustine goes by the Vulgate, dies festus. 

VKR. 1 8. ST. JOHN. 255 

our Lord had not brought all His disciples with Him, but 
left many behind in Judaea, they add, That Thy disciples also 
may see the works that Thou doest. THEOPHYL. i. e. the 
multitudes that follow Thee. They do not mean the twelve, 
but the others that had communication with Him. AUG. 
When you hear of our Lord's brethren, you must understand 
the kindred of Mary, not her offspring after our Lord's birth. 
For as the body of our Lord once only lay in the sepulchre, 
and neither before, nor after that once ; so could not the 
womb of Mary have possibly conceived any other mortal 
offspring. Our Lord's works did not escape His disciples, 
but they escaped His brethren ; hence their suggestion, 
That Thy disciples may see the works that Thou doest. They 
speak according to the wisdom of the flesh, to the Word that 
was made flesh, and add, For there is no man that doeth any 
thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. 
If Thou do these things, shew Thyself to the world; as if to 
say, Thou doest miracles, do them in the eyes of the world, 
that the world may honour Thee. Their admonitions aim at 
procuring glory for Him ; and this very thing, viz. aiming at 
human glory, proved that they did not believe in Him, as we 
next read, For neither did His brethren believe on Him. 
They were Christ's kindred, but they were on that very 
account above believing in Him. CHRYS. It is striking toChrys. 
observe the great sincerity of the Evangelists; that they a 
not ashamed to mention things which appear to be to our 2 - 
Lord's disadvantage, but take particular care to tell us of 
them. It is a considerable reflexion on our Lord, that His 
brethren do not believe on Him. The beginning of their 
speech has a friendly appearance about it : but there is much 
bitterness in it, thus charging Him with the motives of fear 
and vain glory; No man, say they, doeth any thing in secret: 
this was reproaching Him tacitly with fear; and was an 
insinuation too that His miracles had not been real and solid 
ones. In what follows, And he himself seeketh to be 
known openly, they taunt Him with the love of glory. 
Christ however answers them mildly, teaching us not to take 
the advice of people ever so inferior to ourselves angrily; 
Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but 
your time is alway ready. BEDE. This is no contradiction 


Gal. 4,4. to what the Apostle says, But when the fulness of time was 
come, God sent forth His Son. Our Lord referring here to 

Aug.Tr.the time not of His nativity, but of His glorification. AUG. 

xxvui.5. They gave Him advice to pursue glory, and not allo\v Him 
self to remain in concealment and obscurity ; appealing 
altogether to worldly and secular motives. But our Lord 
was laying down another road to that very exaltation, viz. 
humility : My time, He says, i. e. the time of My glory, when 
I shall come to judge on high, is not yet come ; but your 
time, i. e. the glory of the world, is always ready. And let 
us, who are the Lord's body, when insulted by the lovers of 
this world, say, Your time is ready: ours is not yet come. 
Our country is a lofty one, the way to it is low. Whoso 

Chrys. rejecteth the way, why seeketh he the country? CHRYS. 

SvHi* 2 ^ r *h ere seems to be another meaning concealed in the words; 
perhaps they intended to betray Him to the Jews ; and there 
fore He says, My time is not yet come, i. e. the time of My 
cross and death : but your time is always ready; for though 
you are always with the Jews, they will not kill you, because 
you are of the same mind with them: The world cannot hate 
you; but Me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works 
thereof are evil: as if He said, How can the world hate 
them who have the same wishes and aims with itself? It 
hateth Me, because I reprove it. I seek not then glory 
from men ; inasmuch as I hesitate not to reprove them, 
though I know that I am hated in consequence, and that 
My life is aimed at. Here we see that the hatred of the 
Jews was owing to His reproofs, not to His breaking the 
sabbath. THEOPHYL. Our Lord brings two arguments in 
answer to their two charges. To the charge of fear He 
answers, that He reproves the deeds of the world, i. e. of 
those who love worldly things ; which He would not do, if 
He were under the influence of fear; and He replies to the 
charge of vain glory, by sending them to the feast, Go ye up 
unto this feast. Had He been possessed at all with the 
desire for glory, He would have kept them with Him: for 
Chrys. the vain glorious like to have many followers. CHRYS. This 
xlviH 2 * s to s ^ ew too > thatj while He does not wish to humour 
them, He still allows them to observe the Jewish ordinances. 
ii r 'AUG. Or He seems to say, Go ye up to this feast, and seek 

6.8. ' 

VKR. 9 13. ST. JOHN. 257 

for human glory, and enlarge your carnal pleasures, and 
forget heavenly things. 

1 go not up unto this feast ; CHRYS. i. e. not with you, Chrys. 
for My time is not yet full come. It was at the next passover **.: 
that He was to be crucified. AUG. Or My time, i.e. the Aug. 
time of My glory, is not yet come. That will be My feast 
day; not a day which passeth and is gone, like holidays 8 - 
here : but one which remaineth for ever. Then will Jbe 
festivity; joy without end, eternity without stain, sunshine 
without a cloud. 

9. When he had 'said these words unto them, he 
abode still in Galilee. 

10. But when his brethren were gone up, then went 
he also up unto the feast, hot openly, but as it were in 

11. Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and 
said, Where is he? 

12. And there was much murmuring among the 
people concerning him : for some said, He is a good 
man : others said, Nay ; but he deceiveth the people. 

13. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear 
of the Jews. 

THEOPHYL. Our Lord at first declares that He will not go 
up to the feast, (/ go not up with you,} in order not to expose 
Himself to the rage of the Jews; and therefore we read, that, 
When He had said these words unto them, He abode still in 
Galilee. Afterwards, however, He goes up; But when His 
brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast. 
AUG. He went up, however, not to get temporary glory, but Aug. 
to teach wholesome doctrine, and remind men of the eternal 
feast. CHRYS. He goes up, not to suffer, but to teach. And 8 
He goes up secretly; because, though He could have 

openly, and kept the violence and impetuosity of the Jews xhiii. 
in check, as He had often done before ; yet to do this every 
time, would have disclosed His divinity ; and he wished to 
establish the fact of His incarnation, and to teach us the 
way of life. And He went up privately too, to shew us what 



we ought to do, who cannot check our persecutors. It is 

not said, however, in secret, but, as it were in secret; to 

shew that it was done as a kind of economy. For had He 

done all things as God, how should we of this world know 

what to do, when we fell into danger? ALCUIN. Or, He went 

up in secret, because He did not seek the favour of men, 

and took no pleasure in pomp, and being followed about with 

non occ. crowds. BEDE. The mystical meaning is, that to all those 

carnal persons who seek human glory, the Lord remains in 

Galilee ; the meaning of which name is, " passing over ;" 

applying to those his members who pass from vice to virtue, 

and make progress in the latter. And our Lord Himself 

delayed to go up, signifying that Christ's members seek 

not temporal but eternal glory. And He went up secretly, 

Ps. 45, because all b glory is from within : that is, from a pure heart 

i Tim. an d 9 o d conscience, and faith unfeigned. AUG. Or the 

*> 5 - meaning is, that all the ceremonial of the ancient people was 

Tract, the figure of what was to be ; such as the feast of tabernacles. 

xxvm. \yhich fig ure i s now unveiled to us. Our Lord went up in 

secret, to represent the figurative system. He concealed 

Himself at the feast itself, because the feast itself signified, 

that the members of Christ were in a strange country. For 

he dwells in the tents, who regards himself as a stranger in 

the world. The word scenopegia here means the feast of 

Chrys. tabernacles. CHRYS. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, 

xlix^i. an d sa id, Wliere is He? out of hatred and enmity; for 

they would not call Him by His name. There was not 

much reverence or religion in this observance of the feast, 

when they wanted to make it an opportunity of seizing 

Aug. Christ. AUG. And there was much murmuring in the 

xxviii. people concerning Him. A murmuring arising from disagree- 

8> n> ment. For some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; 

but He seduceth the people. Whoever had any spark of 

grace, said, He is a good man; the rest, Nay, but He seduceth 

the people. That such was said of Him, Who was God, is a 

consolation to any Christian, of whom the same may be said. 

If to seduce be to decide, Christ was not a seducer, nor can 

any Christian be. But if by seducing be meant bringing a 

person by persuasion out of one way of thinking into another, 

b The king's daughter is all glorious within. 

VER. 14 18. ST. JOHN. 250 

then we must enquire from what, and to what. If from good 
to evil, the seducer is an evil man ; if from evil to good, a 
good one. And would that we were all called, and really 
'were, such seducers. CHRYS. The former, I think, was the Chrys. 
opinion of the multitude, the one, viz. who pronounced Him jjj^i. 
a good man ; the latter the opinion of the priests and rulers ; 
as is shewn by their saying, He deceiveth the people, not, He 
deceiveth us. AUG. Howbeit no man spake openly of Him, Aug. 
for fear of the Jews ; none, that is, of those who said, He X xvifi. 
is a good man. They who said, He deceiveth the people, 12. 
proclaimed their opinion openly enough ; while the former 
only dared whisper theirs. CHRYS. Observe, the corruption Chrys. 
is in the rulers: the common people are sound in their judg-^ 
ment, but have not liberty of speech, as is generally their 

14. Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up 
into the temple, and taught. 

15. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth 
this man letters, having never learned ? 

16. Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is 
not mine, but his that sent me. 

1 7. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the 
doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of 

18. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own 
glory : but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the 
same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 

CHRYS. Our Lord delays His visit, in order to excite men's Chrys. 
attention, and goes up not the first day, but about the middle x i'i 
of the feast : Now about the midst of the feast Jesus icent Au 8- 
up into the temple, and taught. Those who had been 
searching for Him, when they saw Him thus suddenly appear, 
would be more attentive to His teaching, both favourers and 
enemies; the one to admire and profit by it; the other to 
find an opportunity of laying hands on Him. THEOPHYL. 
At the commencement of the feast, men would be attending 
more to the preachings of the festival itself; and afterwards 
* s2 


Aug. would be better disposed to hear Christ. AUG. The feast 
xxviii. see ms, as far as we can judge, to have lasted several days. 

s. 60. And therefore it is said, " about the middle of the feast day c :" 
i.e. when as many days of that feast had passed, as were to- 
come. So that His assertion, I go not up yet to this feast 
day, (i. e. to the first or second day, as you would wish me,) 
was strictly fulfilled. P'or He went up afterwards, about the 

Aug. de middle of the feast. AUG. In going there too, He went up, 
Nov. et not to the feast day, but to the light. They had gone to 
y et ' 2 enjoy the pleasures of the festival, but Christ's feast day 
78. was that on which by His Passion He redeemed the world. 

At| g- AUG. He who had before concealed Himself, taught and 

super . 

Joan, spoke openly, and was not laid hold on. The one was 

xx^ Ct- 2 intended for an example to us, the other to testify His 

Chrys. power. CHRvs. What His teaching is, the Evangelist does 

xlbTi not sav ' kut lnat ** was verv wonderful is shewn by its 

effect even upon those who had accused Him of deceiving 

the people, who turned round and began to admire Him : 

And the Jews marvtlled, saying, How knoireth this Man 

letters, having never learned? See how perverse they are 

even in their admiration. It is not His doctrine they admire, 

Aug. but another thing altogether. AUG. All, it would appear, 

xxbf 2 admired, Du t all were not converted. Whence then the 

admiration ? Many knew where He was born, and how He 

had been educated ; but had never seen Him learning letters. 

Yet now they heard Him disputing on the law, and bringing 

forward its testimonies. No one could do this, who had not 

read the law; no one could read who had not learnt letters ; 

Chrys. an( ^ tn ^ s raised their wonder. CHRYS. Their wonder might 

Horn, have led them to infer, that our Lord became possessed of 

xlix. 1. ..... 

this learning in some divine way, and not by any human 

process. But they would not acknowledge this, and con 

tented themselves with wondering. So our Lord repeated it 

to them : Jesus answered them and said, My doctrine is not 

A u g. Mine, but His that sent Me. AUG. Mine is not in ine, appears 

Tract. a contradiction; why did He not say, This doctrine is not 


s. 3. Mine ? Because the doctrine of the Father being the Word 
of the Father, and Christ Himself being that Word, Christ 
Himself is the doctrine of the Father. And therefore He 

c Vulgate taken as above literally. 

VER. 14 18. ST. JOHN. 261 

calls the doctrine both His own, and the Father's. A word 
must be a word of some one's. What is so much Thine as 
Thou, and what is so much not Thine as Thou, if what Thou 
art, Thou art of another. His saying then, My doctrine is 
not Mine own, seems briefly to express the truth, that He is 
not from Himself; it refutes the Sabellian heresy, which dares 
to assert that the Son is the same as the Father, there being 
only two names for one thing. CHRYS. Or He calls it HisChrys. 
own, inasmuch as He taught it ; not His own, inasmuch as xlix. & 
the doctrine was of the Father. If all things however which 
the Father hath are His, the doctrine for this very reason is 
His ; i. e. because it is the Father's. Rather that He says, 
Is not Mine own, shews very strongly, that His doctrine and 
the Father's are one: as if He said, I differ nothing from 
Him ; but so act, that it may be thought I say and do 
nothing else than doth the Father. AUG. Or thus : In one Au .g-de 
sense He calls it His, in another sense not His; according c . x j[ 
to the form of the Godhead His, according to the form of 
the servant not His. AUG. Should any one however not Au - 
understand this, let him hear the advice which immediately xx ix. 
follows from our Lord : If any man will do His will, he shall 8 - 6 - 
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I 
speak of Myself . What meaneth this, If atiy man trill do 
His will? To do His will is to believe on Him, as He Him 
self says, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him c - 6 ^ Q - 
whom He hath sent. And who does not know, that to work 
the work of God, is to do His will ? To know is to under 
stand. Do not then seek to understand in order to believe, 
but believe in order to understand, for, Except ye believe, Is. 7, 9. 
ye shall not understand. CHRYS. This is as much as to chrys. 
say, Put away the anger, envy, and hatred which you have Horn, 
towards Me, and there will be nothing to prevent your know 
ing, that the words which I speak are from God. Then He 
brings in an irresistible argument taken from human ex 
perience: He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own 
glory: as if to say, He who aims at establishing some 
doctrine of his o tvn, does so for no purpose, but to get glory. 
But I seek the glory of Him that sent me, and wish to 
teach you for His, i.e. another's, sake: and then it follows, 
But he that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is 


true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. THEOPHYL. 
As if He said, I speak the truth, because My doctrine con- 
taineth the truth : there is no unrighteousness in Me, because 
I usurp not another's glory. AUG. He who seeketh his own 
glory is Antichrist. But our Lord set us an example of 
humility, in that being found in fashion as a man, He sought 
His Father's glory, not His own. Thou, when thou doest 
good, takest glory to thyself, when thou doest evil, upbraidest 
Chrys. Q O ^ > CnRYS. Observe, the reason why He spake so humbly 
xlix 2. of Himself, is to let men know, that He does not aim at 
glory, or power; and to accommodate Himself to their 
weakness, and to teach them moderation, and a humble, as 
distinguished from an assuming, way of speaking of them 

19. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none 
of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 

20. The people answered and said, Thou hast a 
devil : who goeth about to kill thee ? 

21. Jesus answered and said unto them, I have 
done one work, and ye all marvel. 

22. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision: 
(not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers :) and 
ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. 

23. If a man on the sabbath day receive circum 
cision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; 
are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every 
whit whole on the sabbath day ? 

24. Judge not according to the appearance, but 
judge righteous judgment. 

Chrys. CHRYS. The Jews brought two charges against Christ ; one, 
xlix. 2. that He broke the sabbath; the other, that He said God was 
His Father, making Himself equal with God. The latter 
He confirmed first by shewing, that He did nothing in 
opposition to God, but that both taught the same. Then 
turning to the charge of breaking the sabbath, He says, 
Did not Moses give you a law, and none of you keepeih the 

VER. 19 24. ST. JOHN. 263 

law? as much as to say, The law says, Thou shall not kill, 
whereas ye kill. And then, Why go ye about to kill Me ? As 
if to say, If I broke a law to heal a man, it was a trans 
gression, but a beneficial one; whereas ye transgress for an 
evil end; so you have no right to judge Me for breaking the 
law. He rebukes them then for two things ; first, because they 
went about to kill Him; secondly, because they were going 
about to kill another, when they had not even any right to 
judge Him. AUG. Or He means to say, that if they kept Aug. 
the law, they would see Him pointed to in every part of it,2 xxx * 
and would not seek to kill Him, when He came. The 
people return an answer quite away from the subject, and 
only shewing their angry feelings: The people answered and 
said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill Thee ? He 
who cast out devils, was told that He had a devil. Our 
Lord however, in no way disturbed, but retaining all the 
serenity of truth, returned not evil for evil, or railing for 
railing. BEDE. Wherein He left us an example to take it 
patiently, whenever wrong censures are passed upon us, 
and not answer them by asserting the truth, though able 
to do so, but rather by some wholesome advice to the per 
sons; as doth our Lord: Jesus answered and said unto 
them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. AUG. As Aug. 
if He said, What if ye saw all My works ? For all that they J^***' 
saw going on in the world was of His working, but they saw 
not Him Who made all things. But He did one thing, made 
a man whole on the sabbath day, and they were in com 
motion: as if, when any one of them recovered from a 
disease on the sabbath, he who made him whole were any 
other than He, who had offended them by making one man 
whole on the sabbath. CHRYS. Ye marvel, i. e. are di 

turbed, are in commotion. Observe how well He argues with ^ 

xhx. 3^ 

them from the law. He wishes to prove that this work was 
not a violation of the law; and shews accordingly that there 
are many things more important than the law for the observ 
ance of the sabbath, by the observance of which that law is 
not broken but fulfilled. Moses therefore, He says, gave 
unto you circumcision , not because it is of Moses, but of the 
fathers, and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. 
AUG. As if He said, Ye have done well to receive circum- Xr.x' 

s. 4. 


cision from Moses, not because it is of Moses, but of the 
fathers; for Abraham first received circumcision from the 
Lord. And ye circumcise on t/ie sabbafh. Moses has con 
victed you: ye received a law to circumcise on the eighth day; 
and ye received a law to rest on the seventh day. If the 
eighth day after a child is born happen to be the sabbath, ye 
circumcise the child; because circumcision appertaineth to, 
is a kind of sign of, salvation ; and men ought not to rest from 
the work of salvation on the sabbath. ALCUIN. Circumcision 
was given for three reasons; first, as a sign of Abraham's 
great faith; secondly, to distinguish the Jews from other 
nations; thirdly, that the receiving of it on the organ of 
virility, might admonish us to observe chastity both of body 
and mind. And circumcision then possessed the same virtue 
that baptism does now; only that the gate was not yet open. 
Our Lord concludes: If a man on the sabbath day receive 
circumcision, that the laic of Moses should not be broken ; 
are ye angry at Me because I have made a man every whit 
Chrys. wno ^ e n ^ te sabbath day? CHRYS. Which is as much as to 
Horn, tell them, The breaking of the sabbath in circumcision is a 
keeping of the law; and in the same way I by healing on the 
sabbath have kept the law. Ye, who are not the legislators, 
enforce the law beyond its proper bounds; whereas Moses 
made the law give way to the observance of a commandment, 
which did not coine from the law, but from the fathers. His 
saying, / have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath 
Aug. day, implies that circumcision was a partial recovering. AUG. Circumcision also was perhaps a type of our Lord Himself. 
For what is circumcision but a robbing of the flesh, to sig 
nify the robbing the heart of its carnal lusts. And therefore 
it was not without reason that it was applied to that member 
Rom. 5, by which the mortal creature is propagated : for by one man 
12 - sin entered into the world. And therefore every one is born 
vite with the foreskin, because every one is bom with the fault of 
^* s P ro P a g a ti n ' And God does not change us either from the 
corruption of our birth, or from that \ve have contracted 
ourselves by a bad life^except by Christ: and therefore 
they circumcised with knives of stone, to prefigure Christ, 
who is the stone; and on the eighth day, because our Lord's 
resurrection took place on the day after the seventh day ; 

VEK. 19 24. ST. JOHN. 265 

which resurrection circumcises us, i. e. destroys our carnal 
appetites. Regard this, saith our Lord, as a type of My 
good work in making a man every whit whole on the sabbath 
day: for he was healed, that he might be whole in body, 
and he believed, that he might be whole in mind. Ye are 
forbidden indeed to do servile work on the sabbath; but 
is it a servile work to heal on the sabbath? Ye eat and 
drink on the sabbath, because it is necessary for your 
health : which shews that works of healing are by no means 
to be omitted on the sabbath. CHRYS. He does not say, cbrys. 
however, I have done a greater work than circumcision j ^ m ' 3 
but only states the matter of fact, and leaves the judgment 
to them, saying, Judge not according to the appearance, but 
Judge righteous judgment: as if to say, Do not, because 
Moses has a greater name with you than I, decide by 
degree of personal eminence ; but decide by the nature of the 
thing itself, for this is to judge righteously. No one how 
ever has blamed Moses for making the sabbath give place 
to the commandment of circumcision, which was not de 
rived from the law, but from another source. Moses then 
commands the law to be broken to give effect to a com 
mandment not of the law: and he is more worthy of credit 
than you. AUG. What our Lord here tells us to avoid, in Aug. 
judging by the person, is very difficult in this world not to^ r ; xxx 
do. His admonition to the Jews is an admonition to us as 
well; for every sentence which our Lord uttered, was written 
for us, and is preserved to us, and is read for our profit. 
Our Lord is above; but our Lord, as the truth, is here as 
well. The body with which He rose can be only in one 
place, but His truth is diffused every where. Who then is 
he who judges not by the person? He who loves all alike. 
For it is not the paying men different degrees of honour 
according to their situation, that will make us chargeable 
with accepting persons. There may be a case to decide 
between father and son : we should not put the son on an 
equality with the father in point of honour; but, in respect 
of truth, if he have the better cause, we should give him the 
preference; and so give to each their due, that justice do 
not destroy desert d . 

d ut non perdat equitas meritum. 


25. Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not 
this he, whom they seek to kill ? 

26. But, lo, he speaketh holdly, and they say 
nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that 
this is the very Christ ? 

27. Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but 
when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. 

28. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, 
saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am : 
and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is 
true, whom ye know not. 

29. But I know him: for I am from him, and he 
hath sent me. 

30. Then they sought to take him : but no man laid 
hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. 

Aug. AUG. It was said above that our Lord went up to the 
j r ' xxxi< feast secretly, not because He feared being taken, (for He had 
power to prevent it,) but to shew figuratively, that even in 
the very feast which the Jews celebrated, He was hid, and 
that it was His mystery. Now however the power appears, 
which was thought timidity: He spoke publicly at the feast, 
in so much that the multitude marvelled: They said some of 
them at Jerusalem, Is not this He, whom they seek to kill ? 
but, lo, He speaketh boldly, and they say nothing to Him. 
They knew the fierceness with which He had been sought 
for; they marvelled at the power by which he was not taken. 
Chrys. CflRYs. The Evangelist adds, from Jerusalem: for there 
1. ' had been the greatest display of miracles, and there the 
people were in the worst state, seeing the strongest proofs 
of His divinity, and yet willing to give up all to the judg 
ment of their corrupt rulers. Was it not a great miracle, 
that those who raged for His life, now that they had Him in 
Aug. their grasp, became on a sudden quiet? AUG. So, not fully 
i, " ' understanding Christ's power, they supposed that it was owing 
to the knowledge of the rulers that He was spared: Do the 
Chrys. rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? CHRYS. 
Horn. 1. -g ut tne y ^ not f ii ow the opinion of the rulers, but put 

VER. 25 30. ST. JOHN. 267 

forth another most perverse and absurd one; Howbeit we 
know this Man, whence He is; but when Christ cometh, no 
man knoweth whence He is. AUG. This notion did not arise Aug. 
without foundation. We find indeed that the Scriptures s * 
said of Christ, He shall be called a Nazarene, and thus pre- Matt. 2, 
dieted whence He would come. And the Jews again told ' 
Herod, when he enquired, that Christ would be born in 
Bethlehem of Judah, and adduced the testimony of the 
Prophet. How then did this notion of the Jews arise, that, 
when Christ came, no one would know whence He was ? 
From this reason, viz. that the Scriptures asserted both. 
As man, they foretold whence Christ would be; as God, He 
was hid from the profane, but revealed Himself to the godly. 
This notion they had taken from Isaiah, Who shall declare His sa * 
generation ? Our Lord replies,, that they both knew Him, and 
knew Him not: Then cried Jesus in the temple as He taught, 
saying, Ye both know Me, and know whence I am : that is to 
say, Ye both know whence I am, and do not know whence 
I am: ye know whence I am, that I am Jesus of Nazareth, 
whose parents ye know. The birth from the Virgin was the 
only part of the matter unknown to them : with this excep 
tion, they knew all that pertained to Jesus as man. So He 
well says, Ye both know Me, and know whence I am : i. e. 
according to the flesh, and the likeness of man. But in 
respect of His divinity, He says, / am not come of Myself, 
but He that sent Me is true. CHRYS. By which He discloses Chrys. 

J Horn, 

what was in their minds. I am not, He seems to say, of the 1. 1. 

number of those who have come without reason, but He is 
true that sent Me ; and if He is true, He hath sent Me in 
truth ; and therefore He who is sent must needs speak the 
truth. He then convicts them from their own assertions. 
For whereas they had said, When Christ cometh, no man 
knoweth whence He is, He shews that Christ did come from 
one whom they knew not, i. e. the Father. Wherefore He 
adds, Whom ye know not. HILARY. Everyman, ever born inHilar. 

de Trin. 

the flesh, is in a certain sense from God. How then could He 
say that they were ignorant who He was, and whence He 
was"? Because our Lord is here referring to His own peculiar 

a Because even considering Him man, He would be born of God in the 
common sense. 


birth from God, which they were ignorant of, because they did 
not know that He was the Son of God. His very saying then 
that they did not know whence He was, was telling them whence 
He was. If they did not know whence He was, He could 
not be from nothing ; for then there would be no whence to 
be ignorant of. He must therefore be from God. And then 
not knowing whence He is, was the reason that they did not 
know who He is. He does not know the Son who does not 
Chrys. know His birth from the Father. CHRYS. Or the ignorance, 
Horn. 1. jj e i^^ S p ea k s of^ is the ignorance of a bad life ; as Paul 
Xit. i saith, They profess that they know God, but in works they 
16 - deny Him. Our Lord's reproof is twofold : He first 
published what they were speaking secretly, crying out, 
Aug. in order to put them to shame. Auo. Lastly, to shew whence 
r.xxxi. gt to know Him (who had sent Him), He adds, 

I know Him: so if you would know Him, enquire of Me. 

c. 8, 65. No one knoiveth the Father, save the Son, and lie to whom 

the Son will reveal Him. And if I should sat/, I know Him 

Chrys. not, I should be a liar like unto you. CHRYS. Which is impos- 

{ ' ' sible: for He that sent Me is true, and therefore He that is sent 

mustbe true likewise. He every where attributes the knowledge 

of the Father to Himself, as being from the Father: thus here, 

Hilar. ButIknowHim,forIamfromHim. HILARY. I ask how- 

II" . de ever, does the being from Him express a ^vork of creation, 

ultra or a birth by generation? If a work of creation, then every 

16 ' thing which is created is from Him. And how then does not 

all creation know the Father, if the Son knows Him, because 

He is from Him ? But if the knowledge of the Father is pecu 

liar to Him, as being from Him, then the being from Him is 

peculiar to Him also; i. e. the being the true Son of God by 

nature. So you have then a peculiar knowledge springing 

from a peculiar generation. To prevent however any heresy 

applying the being from Him, to the time of His advent, 

He adds, And He hath sent Me: thus preserving the order 

of the Gospel sacrament ; first announcing Himself born, 

Aug and then sent. AUG. / am from Him, He says, i. e. as the 

Tr.xxxi. g on from the Father : but that you see Me in the flesh is 

because He hath sent Me. Wherein understand not a differ- 

Ch ence of nature, but the authority of a father. CHRYS. His 

Horn. l. saying however, Whom ye know not, irritated the Jews, who 

VER. 31 - 36. ST. JOHN. 269 

professed to have knowledge ; and they sought to take Him, 
but no man laid hands on Him. Mark the invisible check 
which is kept upon their fury : though the Evangelist does 
not mention it, but preserves purposely a humble and 
human way of speaking, in order to impress us with Christ's 
humanity ; and therefore only adds, Because His hour was 
not yet come. AUG. That is, because He was not so pleased ; Aug. 
for our Lord was not born subject to fate. Thou must D 

believe this even of thyself, much less of Him by Whom thou s - 5 - 
wert made. And if thine hour is in His will, is not His hour 
in His own will ? His home then here does not mean the time 
that He was obliged to die, but the time that He deigned to 
be put to death. 

31. And many of the people believed on him, and 
said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles 
than these which this man hath done ? 

32. The Pharisees heard that the people murmured 
such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and 
the chief priests sent officers to take him. 

33. Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while 
am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 

34. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me : and 
where I am, thither ye cannot come. 

35. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither 
will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go 
unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the 
Gentiles ? 

36. What manner of saying is this that he said, Y 
shall seek me, and shall not find me : and where I am, 
thither ye cannot come ? 

AUG. And many of the people believed on Him. Our Lord Aug. 
brought the poor and humble to be saved. The common j^iLT 1 . 
people, who soon saw their own infirmities, received His 
medicine without hesitation. CHRYS. Neither had these Clirys. 

Horn. 1. 


however a sound faith ; but took up a low way of speaking, 
after the manner of the multitude : When Christ cometh, will 
He do more miracles than this Man hath done ? Their say 
ing, When Christ cometh, shews that they were not steady in 
believing that He was the Christ : or rather, that they did 
not believe He was the Christ at all ; for it is the same as if 
they said, that Christ, when He came, would be a superior 
person, and do more miracles. Minds of the grosser sort are 
Aug. influenced not by doctrine, but by miracles. AUG. Or they 
xxxi. 7. mean, If there are not to be two Christs, this is He. The 
rulers however, possessed with madness, not only refused to 
acknowledge the physician, but even wished to kill Him: 
The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things 
concerning Him, and the Pharisees and chief priests sent 
officers to take Him. CHRYS. He had discoursed often 
before, but they had never so treated Him. The praises of 
the multitude however now irritated them; though the trans 
gression of the sabbath still continued to be the reason put 
forward. Nevertheless, they were afraid of taking this step 
Aug. themselves, and sent officers instead. AUG. Not being able 
Tract. to ^jjg jjj m against His will, they sent men to hear Him 
s. 8. teach. Teach what ? Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little 
Chrys. while I am with you. CHRYS. He speaks with the greatest 
Horn. l. num iiity : as if to say, Why do ye make such haste to kill 
Aug. Me? Only wait a little time. AUG. That which ye wish to 
xxxi 8 do now > J e shall do sometime, but not now : because it is 
not My will. For I wish to fulfil My mission in due course, 
Chrys. and so to come to My passion. CHRYS. In this way He 
2 r ' astonished the bolder part of the multitude, and made the 
earnest among them more eager to hear Him ; so little time 
being now left, during which they could have the benefit of 
His teaching. He does not say, I am here, simply; but, / 
am with you ; meaning, Though you persecute Me, I will 
not cease fulfilling my part towards you, teaching you the 
way to salvation, and admonishing you. What follows, And 
I go unto Him that sent Me, was enough to excite some fear. 
THEOPHYL. As if He were going to complain of them to the 
Father: for if they reviled Him who was sent, no doubt they 
did an injury to Him that sent. BEDE. / go to Him that 

VER. 31 86. ST. JOHN. 271 

sent Me: i. e. I return to My Father, at whose command I 
became incarnate. He is speaking of that departure, from 
which He has never returned. CHRYS. That they wanted chrys. 
His presence, appears from His saying, Ye seek Me, and^ Q A 
shall not find Me. But when did the Jews seek Him ? Luke 
relates that the women lamented over Him: and it is pro 
bable that many others did the same. And especially, when 
the city was taken, would they call Christ and His miracles 
to remembrance, and desire His presence. AUG. Here He Aug. 
foretels His resurrection : for the search for Him was to ra ?*o 

XXXI. 7 

take place after His resurrection, when men were conscience- 
stricken. They would not acknowledge Him, when present ; 
afterward they sought Him, when they saw the multitude 
believing on Him; and many pricked in their hearts said, 

What shall we do ? They perceived that Christ's death was 
owing to their sin, and believed in Christ's pardon to sinners; 
and so despaired of salvation, until they drank of that blood 
which they shed. CHRYS. Then lest any should think thatChrys. 
His death would take place in the common way, He adds, 
And where I am, thither ye cannot come. If He continued 
in death, they would be able to go to Him : for we all are going 
thitherwards. AUG. He does not say, Where I shall be, but Aug. 

Where I am. For Christ was always there in that place 
whither He was about to return : He returned in such a 
way, as that He did not forsake us. Visibly and according 
to the flesh, He was upon earth ; according to His invisible 
majesty, He was in heaven and earth. Nor again is it, Ye 
will not be able, but, Ye are not able to come : for they were 
not such at the time, as to be able. That this is not meant 
to drive men to despair, is shewn by His saying the very 
same thing to His disciples ; Whither I go, ye cannot come ; 
and by His explanation last of all to Peter, Whither I go, ye 
cannot follow Me now, but ye shall follow Me afterwards. 
CHRYS. He wants them to think seriously how little timechrys. 
longer He should be with them, and what regret they 
feel when He is gone, and they are not able to find Him. 
/ go unto Him that sent Me; this shews that no injury 
was done Him by their plots, and that His passion was 
voluntary. The words had some effect upon the Jews, who 
asked each other, where they were to go, which was like 


persons desiring to be quit of Him: Then said the Jews 
among themselves, Whither will He go, that we shall not find 
Him ? Will He go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and 
teach the Gentiles ? In the fulness of their self-satisfaction, 
they call them Gentiles, as a term of reproach ; the Gentiles 
being dispersed every where ; a reproach which they them 
selves underwent afterwards. Of old all the nation was 
united together : but now that the Jews were mixed with 
the Gentiles in every part of the world, our Lord would not 
have said, Whither I go, ye cannot come, in the sense of 
Aug. going to the Gentiles. AUG. Whither I go, i. e. to the 
xxxf bosom of the Father. This they did not at all understand : 
10. and yet even their mistake is an unwitting prophecy of our 
salvation ; i. e. that our Lord would go to the Gentiles, not 
in His own person, but by His feet, i. e. His members. He 
sent to us those whom He had made His members, and so 
Chrys. made us His members. CHRYS. They did not mean, that 
3 om>1 ''our Lord was going to the Gentiles for their hurt, but to 
teach them. Their anger had subsided, and they believed 
what He had said. Else they would not have thought of 
asking each other, What manner of saying is this that He 
said, Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and whither 
I am, ye cannot come. 

37. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus 
stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come 
unto me, and drink. 

38. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture 
hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living 

39. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they 
that believe on him should receive: for the Holy 
Ghost was not yet given ; because that Jesus was not 
yet glorified.) 

Chrys. CHRYS. The feast being over, and the people about to 

Horn. 1. relurn home, our Lord gives them provisions for the way: In 

the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and 

cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and 

VER. 37 39. ST. JOHN. 273 

drink. AUG. The feast was then going on, which is called Au g- 
scenopegia, i. e. building of tents. CHRYS. Which lasted xxxtt. i. 
seven days. The first and last days were the most important; 
In the last day, that great day of the feast, says the Evan 
gelist. Those between were given chiefly to amusements. 
He did not then make the offer on the first day, or the 
second, or the third, lest amidst the excitements that were 
going on, people should let it slip from their minds, He cried 
out, on account of the great multitude of people present. 
THEOPHYL. To make Himself audible, inspire confidence in 
others, and shew an absence of all fear in Himself. CHRYS. Chrys. 
If any thirstelh : as if to say, I use no compulsion or violence : jj 1 m ' 
but if any have the desire strong enough, let him come. AUG. Aug. 
For there is an inner thirst, because there is an inner man : Tra .9t. 

XXX11* 1 1 1 

and the inner man of a certainty loves more than the outer. 
So then if we thirst, let us go not on our feet, but on our 
affections, not by change of place, but by love. CHRYS. He Chrys. 
is speaking of spiritual drink, as His next words shew: He^ ' 
thai believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his 
belly shall flow rivers of living water. But where does the 
Scripture say this ? No where. What then ? We should 
read, He that believeth in Me, as saith the Scripture, putting 
the stop here ; and then, out of his belly shall flow rivers of 
living water: the meaning being, that that was a right 
kind of belief, which was formed on the evidence of 
Scripture, not of miracles. Search the Scriptures, He had 
said before. JEROME. Or this testimony is taken from the Hierom. 
Proverbs, where it is said, Let thy fountains be dispersed ! n P~ 
abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. AUG. The belly Prov. 5, 
of the inner man, is the heart's conscience. Let him drink A ' 
from that water, and his conscience is quickened and purified ; Tract. 
he drinks in the whole fountain, nay, becomes the very 
fountain itself. But what is that fountain, and what is that 
river, which flows from the belly of the inner man ? The love 
of his neighbour. If any one, who drinks of the water, 
thinks that it is meant to satisfy himself alone, out of his 
belly there doth not flow living water. But if he does good 
to his neighbour, the stream is not dried up, but flows. 
GREG. When sacred preaching floweth from the soul of the Greg. 
faithful, rivers of living water, as it were, run down from the E^ech 

T Horn. x. 


bellies of believers. For what are the entrails of the belly 
but the inner part of the mind ; i. e. a right intention, a holy 
Chrys. f desire, humility towards God, mercy toward man. CHRYS. 
]i. i.' He says, rivers, not river, to shew the copious and overflow 
ing power of grace: and living water, i. e. always moving; 
for when the grace of the Spirit has entered into and settled 
in the mind, it flows freer than any fountain, and neither 
fails, nor empties, nor stagnates. The wisdom of Stephen, 
the tongue of Peter, the strength of Paul, are evidences of 
this. Nothing hindered them ; but, like impetuous torrents, 
Aug.] they went on, carrying every thing along with them. AUG. 
xxxii's. What kind of drink it was, to which our Lord invited them, the 
Evangelist next explains; But this He spake of the Spirit, 
which they that believe on Him should receive. Whom does 
the Spirit mean, but the Holy Spirit? For every man has 
within him his own spirit. ALCUIN. He promised the Holy 
Spirit to the Apostles before the Ascension; He gave it to 
them in fiery tongues, after the Ascension. The Evangelist's 
words, Which they that believe on Him should receive, refer 
Aug. to this. AUG. The Spirit of God was, i. e. was with God, 
xxxH.6. before now; but was not yet given to those who believed on 
Jesus ; for our Lord had determined not to give them the 
Spirit, till He was risen again : The Holy Ghost was not yet 
Chrys. given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified. CHRYS. The 
li.]L Apostles indeed cast out devils by the Spirit before, but only 
by the power which they had from Christ. For when He 
sent them, it is not said, He gave them the Holy Spirit, but, 
He gave unto them power. With respect to the Prophets, 
however, all agree that the Holy Spirit was given to them : 
Aug. but this grace had been withdrawn from the world. AUG. 
Trii^c ^ et we rea( ^ ^ J nn tne Baptist, He shall be filled with the 
xx. Holti Ghost even from his mothers womb. And Zacharias 


!5 e ' was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied. Mai'y was 
filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied of our Lord. 
And so were Simeon and Anna, that they might acknowledge 
the greatness of the infant Christ. We are to understand 
then that the giving of the Holy Spirit was to be certain, 
f after Christ's exaltation, in a way in which it never was 
before. It was to have a peculiarity at His coming, which 
it had not before. For we no where read of men under the 

VER. 4053. ST. JOHN. 275 

influence of the Holy Spirit, speaking \vith tongues which 
they had never known, as then took place, when it was 
necessary to evidence His coming by sensible miracles. 
AUG. If the Holy Spirit then is received now, why is there no 
one who speaks the tongues of all nations? Because now 
the Church herself speaks the tongues of all nations. Whoso 
is not in her, neither doth he now receive the Holy Spirit. 
But if only thou lovest unity, whoever hath any thing in her, 
hath it for thee. Put away envy, and that which I have 
is thine. Envy separateth, love unites : have it, and thou 
hast all things : whereas without it nothing that thou canst 
have, will profit thee. The love of God is sited abroad in Rom. 6, 
our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. But ' 
why did our Lord give the Holy Spirit after His resurrection? 
That the flame of love might mount upwards to our own 
resurrection: separating us from the world, and devoting us 
wholly to God. He who said, He that believeth in Me, out 
of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, hath promised 
life eternal, free from all fear, and change, and death. Such 
then being the gifts which He promised to those in whom 
the Holy Spirit kindled the flame of love, He would not give 
that Spirit till He was glorified: in order that in His own 
person He might shew us that life, which we hope to attain 
to in the resurrection. AUG. If this then is the cause why Aug. 
the Holy Spirit was not yet given; viz. because Jesus was, ont * 
not yet glorified; doubtless, the glorification of Jesus whenl. xxxii. 
it took place, was the cause immediately of its being given. c ' 
The Cataphryges, however, said that they first received the 
promised Paraclete, and thus strayed from the Catholic faith. 
The Manichaeans too apply all the promises made respecting 
the Holy Spirit to Manichseus, as if there were no Holy Spirit 
given before. CHRYS. Or thus ; By the glory of Christ, He chrys. 

means the cross. For, whereas we were enemies, and gifts H 
are not made to enemies, but to friends, it was necessary that 
the victim should be first offered up, and the enmity of the 
flesh removed; that, being made friends of God,, we might be 
capable of receiving the gift. 

40. Many of the people therefore, when they heard 
this saying,tsaid, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 



41. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, 
Shall Christ come out of Galilee ? 

42. Hath not the Scripture said, That Christ cometh 
of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, 
where David was ? 

43. So there was a division among the people because 
of him. 

44. And some of them would have taken him; but 
no man laid hands on him. 

45. Then came the officers to the chief priests and 
Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not 
brought him? 

46. The officers answered, Never man spake like 
this man. 

47. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also 
deceived ? 

48. Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees be 
lieved on him ? 

49. But this people who knoweth not the law are 

50. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to 
Jesus by night, being one of them,) 

51. Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, 
and know what he doeth ? 

52. They answered and said unto him, Art thou also 
of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth 
no prophet. 

53. And every man went unto his own house. 

Aug. AUG. Our Lord having invited those, who believed in Him, 
iii.l to drink of the Holy Spirit, a dissension arose among the 
multitude: Many of the people therefore, when they heard 
this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Piophet. THEOPHYL. 
The one, that is, who was expected. Others, i. e. the people 
said, This is the Christ. ALCUIN. These had now begun to 

1 Nic. drink in that spiritual thirst 1 , and had laid aside the unbe- 


VER. 40 53. ST. JOHN. 277 

lieving thirst. But others still remained dried up in their 
unbelief: But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 
Ilath not the Scripture said, That Christ cometh of the 
seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where 
David was? They knew what were the predictions of the 
Prophets respecting Christ, but knew not that they all were 
fulfilled in Him. They knew that He had been brought up at 
Nazareth, but the place of His birth they did not know; and 
did not believe that it answered to the prophecies. CHRYS. O 
But be it so, they knew not His birth-place: were they j 1 ? 
ignorant also of His extraction ? that He was of the house 
and family of David? Why did they ask, Hath not the 
Scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed of David c ? 
They wished to conceal His extraction, and therefore put 
forward where He had been educated. For this reason, 
they do not go to Christ and ask, How say the Scriptures 
that Christ must come from Bethlehem, whereas Thou comest 
from Galilee? purposely and of malice prepense they do 
not do this. And because they were thus inattentive, and 
indifferent about knowing the truth, Christ did not answer 
them: though He had lauded Nathanael, when he said, Gait 
any (jood thing come out of Nazareth ? and called Him an 
Israelite indeed, as being a lover of truth, and well learned 
in the ancient Scriptures. 

So there was a division among the people concerning Him. 
THEOPHYL. Not among the rulers; for they were resolved 
one way, viz. not to acknowledge Him as Christ. The more 
moderate of them only used malicious words, in order to 
oppose Christ's path to glory; but the more malignant wished 
to lay hands on Him: And some of them it-ould have taken 
Him. CHRYS. The Evangelist says this to shew, that they Chrys. 
had no concern for, and no anxiety to learn, the truth. v^o' 

But no man laid hands on Him. ALCUIN. That is, because 
He Who had the power to control their designs, did not 
permit it. CHRYS. This were sufficient to have raised some Chrys. 
compunction in them; but no, such malignity believes jj ^' 
nothing; it looks only to one thing, blood. AUG. They Aug. 
however who were sent to take Him, returned guiltless of the xxx i,i f \. 
offence, and full of admiration: Then came the officers to 
the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, 


Why have ye not brought Him ? ALCUIN. They who wished 

to take and stone Him, reprove the officers for not bringing 

Chrys. Him. CHRYS. The Pharisees and Scribes profited nothing 

"'by seeing the miracles, and reading the Scriptures; but their 

officers, who had done neither, were captivated with once 

hearing Him ; and they who went to take hold of Him, were 

themselves taken hold of by the miracle. Nor did they say, We 

could not because of the multitude : but made themselves 

proclaimers of Christ's wisdom : The officers answered, Never 

Aug. man spake like this Man. AUG. He spoke thus, because He 

xxxiiu. was both God and man. CHRYS. Not only is their wisdom to 

Chrys. De admired, for not wanting miracles, but being convinced by 

1. His teaching only, (for they do not say, Never man did such 

miracles as this Man, but, Never man spake like this Man,} 

but also their boldness, in saying this to the Pharisees, who 

were such enemies of Christ. They had not heard a long 

discourse, but minds unprepossessed against Him did not 

Aug. require one. AUG. The Pharisees however rejected their 

xxxfiu. testimony : Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also 

led atcay? As if to say, We see that you are charmed by 

His discourse. ALCUIN. And so they were led away; and 

laudably too, for they had left the evil of unbelief, and 

Chrys. were gone over to the faith. CHRYS. They make use of 

l. 'the most foolish argument against them: Have any of the 

rulers or of the Pharisees believed on Him ? but this people 

who knoweth not the law are cursed? This then was their 

ground of accusation, that the people believed, but they 

Au g- themselves did not. AUG. They who knew not the law, 


xxxiii.'i. believed on Him who had given the law, and they who 

taught the law condemned Him ; thus fulfilling our Lord's 
c. 19,39. words, / am come, that they which see not might see, and 

Chrys. fj ia f fj ie y w ]^ c ]i see might be made blind. CHRYS. How 

Hom.lh. . , , , . . ._ 

i. then are they cursed, who are convinced by the law? Rather 

are ye cursed, who have not observed the law. THEOPHYL. 

The Pharisees answer the officers courteously and gently; 

because they are afraid of their forthwith separating from 

Hom 8 fii them, and joining Christ. CHRYS. As they said that none of 

I. the rulers believed on Him, the Evangelist contradicts them: 

. Nicodemus saith unto them t (he that came to Jesus by night, 

Tract, being one of them.} AUG. He was not unbelieving, but 


VER. 4053. ST. JOHN. 279 

fearful ; and therefore came by night to the light, wishing to 
be enlightened, but afraid of being known to go. He replies, 
])>>th our law judge any man before it hear him, and know 
what lie doelh ? He thought that, if they would only hear Him 
patiently, they would be overcome, as the officers had been. 
But they preferred obstinately condemning Him, to knowing 
the truth. AUG. He calls the law of God, our law; because 
it was given to men. CHRYS. Nicodemus shews that they chrys. 
knew the law, and did not act according to the law.*? ' 
They, instead of disproving this, take to rude and angry 
contradiction: They answered and said unto him, Art thou 
also of Galilee? AUG. i. e. led away by a Galilean. Our Lord Aug. 
was called a Galilean, because His parents were of the 

of Nazareth; I mean by parents, Mary. CHRYS. Then, by 2 - 
way of insult, they direct Him to the Scriptures, as if He were Horn. 
ignorant of them; Search and look, for out of Galilee ariseth^- 11 * 
no prophet: as if to say, Go, learn what the Scriptures say. 
ALCUIN. They knew the place where He had resided, but 
never thought of enquiring where He was born ; and therefore 
they not only denied that He was the Messiah, but even that 
He was a prophet. AUG. No prophet indeed ariseth out of Aug. 
Galilee, but the Lord of prophets arose thence. xxxiii. 

And every man went unto his own house. ALCUIN. Having H- 
effected nothing, devoid of faith, and therefore incapable of 
being benefited, they returned to their home of unbelief and 


1. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 

2. And early in the morning he came again into the 
temple, and all the people came unto him ; and he sat 
down, and taught them. 

3. And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto 
him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had 
set her in the midst, 

4. They say unto him, Master, this woman was 
taken in adultery, in the very act. 

5. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such 
should be stoned : but what sayest thou ? 

6. This they said, tempting him, that they might 
have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and 
with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he 
heard them not. 

7. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up 
himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin 
among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 

8. And again He stooped down, and wrote on the 

9. And they which heard it, being convicted by 
their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning 
at the eldest, even unto the last : and Jesus was left 
alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 

10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw 
none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where 
are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned 

11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said 
unto her, Neither do I condemn thee : go, and sin no 


ALCUIN. Our Lord at the time of His passion used to spend 
the day in Jerusalem, preaching in the temple, and performing 
miracles, and return in the evening to Bethany, where He 
lodged with the sisters of Lazarus. Thus on the last day of 
the feast, having, according to His wont, preached the whole 
day in the temple, in the evening He went to the mount 
of Olives. AUG. And where ought Christ to teach, except Aug. 
on the mount of Olives ; on the mount of ointment, on the xxxiH. 
mount of chrism. For the name Christ is from chrism, 3- 
chrism being the Greek word for unction. He has anointed 
us, for wrestling with the devil. ALCDIN. The anointing 
with oil is a relief to the limbs, when wearied and in pain. 
The mount of Olives also denotes the height of our Lord's 
pity, olive in the Greek signifying pity. The qualities of oil 
are such as to fit in to this mystical meaning. For it floats 
above all other liquids : and the Psalmist says, Thy mercy is p s . 144. 
over all Thy works. And early in the morning, He came 
again into the temple: i. e. to denote the giving and un 
folding of His mercy, i. e. the now dawning light of the New 
Testament in the faithful, that is, in His temple. His 
returning early in the morning, signifies the new rise of 
grace. BEDE. And next it is signified, that after He began 
to dwell by grace in His temple, i. e. in the Church, men 
from all nations would believe in Him : And all the people 
came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. ALCUIN. 
The sitting down, represents the humility of His incarnation. 
And the people came to Him, when He sat down, i. e. after 
taking up human nature, and thereby becoming visible, 
many began to hear and believe on Him, only knowing Him 
as their friend and neighbour. But while these kind and 
simple persons are full of admiration at our Lord's discourse, 
the Scribes and Pharisees put questions to Him, not for the 
sake of instruction, but only to entangle the truth in their nets : 
And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman 
taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 
they say unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in 
adultery, in the very act. AUG. They had remarked upon Aug. 
Him already, as being over lenient. Of Him indeed it had ^*? 
been prophesied, Ride on because of the word of truth, of a. 4. 
meekness, and of righteousness. So as a teacher He s< ' 


exhibited truth, as a deliverer meekness, as a judge righteous 
ness. When He spoke, His truth was acknowledged; when 
against His enemies He used no violence, His meekness was 
praised. So they raised the scandal on the score of justice. 
For they said among themselves, If He decide to let her go, 
He will not do justice; for the law cannot command what is 
unjust: Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such 
should be stoned: but to maintain His meekness, which has 
made Him already so acceptable to the people, He must 
decide to let her go. Wherefore they demand His opinion : 
And what sayest Thou ? hoping to find an occasion to accuse 
Him, as a transgressor of the law: And this they said 
tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him. But 
our Lord in His answer both maintained His justice, and 
departed not from meekness. Jesus stooped down, and with 
de^on. His finger wrote on the ground. AUG. As if to signify that 
Evang. such persons were to be written in earth, not in heaven, 
c. io. where He told His disciples they should rejoice they were 
written. Or His bowing His head (to write on the ground), 
is an expression of humility; the writing on the ground 
signifying that His law was written on the earth which bore 
fruit, not on the barren stone, as before. ALCUIN. The 
ground denotes the human heart, which yieldeth the fruit 
either of good or of bad actions: the finger jointed and 
flexible, discretion. He instructs us then, when we see any 
faults in our neighbours, not immediately and rashly to con 
demn them, but after searching our own hearts to begin with, 
to examine them attentively with the finger of discretion. 
BEDE. His writing with His finger on the ground perhaps 
shewed, that it was He who had written the law on stone. 

So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself 

Aug. up. AUG. He did not say, Stone her not, lest He should 

xxxiii. seem to speak contrary to the law. But God forbid that He 

6 - should say, Stone her; for He came not to destroy that 

which He found, but to seek that which was lost. What 

then did He answer? He that is without sin among you, 

let himjirst cast a stone at her. This is the voice of justice. 

Let the sinner be punished, but not by sinners; the law 

carried into effect, but not by transgressors of the law. GREG. 

For he who judges not himself first, cannot know how to 

VER. 1 11. ST. JOHN. Q83 

judge correctly in the case of another. For though He 
know what the offence is, from being told, yet He cannot 
judge of another's deserts, who supposing himself innocent, 
will not apply the rule of justice to himself. ADG. Having Aug. 
with the weapon of justice smitten them, He deigned notxxxiii. 
even to look on the fallen, but averted His eyes: And again 5 ' 
He stooped down, and wrote on the ground. ALCUIN. This 
is like our Lord; while His eyes are fixed, and He seems 
attending to something else, He gives the bystanders an 
opportunity of retiring: a tacit admonition to us to consider 
always both before we condemn a brother for a sin, and 
after we have punished him, whether we are not guilty 
ourselves of the same fault, or others as bad. AUG. Thus Aug. 
smitten then with the voice of justice, as with a weapon, 

they examine themselves, find themselves guilty, and one by s - 6 - 
one retire : And they which heard it, went out one by one, 
beginning at the eldest". GLOSS. The more guilty of them, 
perhaps, or trjose who were more conscious of their faults. 
AUG. There were left however two, the pitiable 1 and the Aug. 
pitiful, And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing xxx *jij. 
in the midst: the woman, you may suppose, in great alarm, 6 ) 6. 

. , , ,. , . . , ^iseria 

expecting punishment irom one in whom no sin could be e tmise- 

found. But He who had repelled her adversaries with the ncordia ' 
word of justice, lifted on her the eyes of mercy, and asked; 
When Jesus had lifted Himself up, and saw none but the 
woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are these thine 
accusers ? hath no man condemned thee ? She said, No man, 
Lord. We heard above the voice of justice; let us hear now 
that of mercy : Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn 
thee; I, who thou fearedst would condemn thee, because 
thou foundest no fault in me. What then, Lord ? Dost Thou 
favour sin? No, surely. Listen to what follows, Go, and sin 
no more. So then our Lord condemned sin, but not the 
sinner. For did He favour sin, He would have said, Go, 
and live as thou wilt: depend on my deliverance: howsoever 
great thy sins be, it matters not : I will deliver thee from 
hell, and its tormentors. But He did not say this. Let 
those attend, who love the Lord's mercy, and fear His truth. 
Truly, Gracious and righteous is the Lord. Ps.35,7. 

* Vulgate omits luri rrit evuibwtut \)*iy%i>p,ivii it( ra> iff%dr*. 


12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I 
am the light of the world : he that followeth me shall 
not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 

ALCUIN. Having absolved the woman from her sin, lest 

some should doubt, seeing that He was really man, His 

power to forgive sins, He deigns to give further disclosure 

of His divine nature; Then spake Jesus again unto them, 

saying, I am the Light of the world. BEDE. Where it is to 

be observed, He does not say, / am the light of Angels, or 

of heaven, but the Light of the world, i. e. of mankind who 

Luke i, ii ve i n darkness, as we read, To give light to them that sit in 

Chrys. darkness, and in the shadow of death. CHRYS. As they had 

irT brought Galilee as an objection against Him, and doubted 
His being one of the Prophets, as if that was all He claimed 
to be, He wished to shew that He was not .one of the 
Prophets, but the Lord of the whole earth : Then spake Jesus 
again unto them, saying^ I am the Light of the world: not 
Aug. of Galilee, or of Palestine, or of JudaBa. AUG. The Mani- 
xxxJv*. chaeans suppose the sun of the natural world to be our Lord 
* Christ; but the Catholic Church reprobates such a notion; 
for our Lord Christ was not made the sun, but the sun was 
c. i, 3. made by Him : inasmuch as all things were made by Him. 
And lor our sake did He come to be under the sun, being 
the light which made the sun : He hid Himself under the 
cloucl of the flesh, not to obscure, but to temper His light. 
Speaking then through the cloud of the flesh, the Light 
unfailing, the Light of wisdom says to men, / am the Light of 
the world. THEOPHYL. You may bring these words against 
Nestorius : for our Lord does not say, In Me is the light of 
the world, but, / am the Light of the world: He who 
appeared man, was both the Son of God, and the Light of 
the world ; not, as Nestorius fondly holds, the Son of God 
Aug. dwelling in a mere man. AUG. He withdraws you however 
from the eyes of the flesh, to those of the heart, in that He 

s ' 5 - adds, He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but 
shall have the light of life. He thinks it not enough to say, 
shall have light, but adds, of life. These words of our Lord 

Ps. 35. agree with those of the Psalm, In Thy light shall we see light; 
for with Thee is the well of life. For bodily uses, light is one 

VER. 13 18. ST. JOHN. 285 

thing, and a well another; and a well ministers to the mouth, 
light to the eyes. With God the light and the well are the 
same. He who shines upon thee, that thou mayest see Him, 
the Same flows unto thee, that thou mayest drink Him. What 
He promises is put in the future tense ; what we ought to do 
in the present. He that followeth Me, He says, shall have ; 
i. e. by faith now, in sight hereafter. The visible sun ac- 
companieth thee, only if thou goest westward, whither it 
goeth also; and even if thou follow it, it will forsake thee, at 
its setting. Thy God is every where wholly ; He will not 
fall from thee, if thou fall not from Him. Darkness is to be 
feared, not that of the eyes, but that of the mind ; and if of 
the eyes, of the inner not the outer eyes ; not those by which 
white and black, but those by which just and unjust, are 
discerned. CHRYS. Walketh not in darkness, i. e. spiritually Chrys. 
abideth not in error. Here He tacitly praises Nicodemus^ ' 
and the officers, and censures those who had plotted against 
Him ; as being in darkness and error, and unable to come to 
the light. 

13. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou 
bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 

14. Jesus answered and said unto them, Though 
I bear record of myself, yet my record is true : for I 
know whence I came, and whither I go ; but ye can 
not tell whence I come, and whither I go. 

15. Ye judge after the flesh; t judge no man. 

16. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true : for I 
am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 

1 7. It is also written in your law, that the testimony 
of two men is true. 

18. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the 
Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 

CHRYS. Our Lord having said, / am the Light of the world; Chrys. 
and, he that followeth Me, walketh not in darkness, t 
Jews wish to overthrow what He has said : The Pharisees 
therefore said unto Him, Thou bearest record of Thyself, Thy 
record is not true. ALCUIN. As if our Lord Himself were 


the only (one that bore) witness to Himself; whereas the 
truth was that He had, before His incarnation, sent many 
Chrys. witnesses to prophesy of His Sacraments. CHRYS. Our 
iii. Lord however overthrew their argument : Jesus answered 
and said., Though I bear record of Myself, yet My record is 
true. This is an accommodation to those who thought Him 
no more than a mere man. He adds the reason, For I 
know whence I come, and whither I go; i. e. I am God, from 
God, and the Son of God: though this He does not say 
expressly, from His habit of mingling lofty and lowly words 
together. Now God is surely a competent witness to Him- 
Aug. self. AUG. The witness of light is true, whether the light 
xxxv*6 snew itself or other things. The Prophet spake the truth, 
but whence had he it, but by drawing from the fount of 
s.5. truth? Jesus then is a competent witness to Himself. For 
I know whence I come, and whither I go: this has reference 
to the Father; for the Son gave glory to the Father who 
sent Him. How greatly then should man glorify the Creator, 
who made Him. He did not separate from His Father, 
however, when He came, or desert us when He returned: 
unlike that sun which in going to the west, leaves the east. 
And as that sun throws its light on the faces both of him 
who sees, and him who sees not; only the one sees with the 
light, the other sees not: so the Wisdom of God, the Word, 
is every where present, even to the minds of unbelievers ; 
but they have not the eyes of the understanding, where 
with to see. To distinguish then between believers and 
enemies among the Jews, as between light and darkness, He 
adds, But ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 
Tract. These Jews saw the man, and did not believe in the God, 
xxxvi.s. an( j tij ere f ore our Lord says, Ye judge after the flesh, i. e. in 
saying, Thou bearest record of Thyself, Thy record is not true. 
THEOPHYL. As if to say: Ye judge untruly, according to the 
flesh, thinking, because I am in the flesh, that I am flesh 
Aug. only, and not God. AUG. Understanding Me not as God, 
xxxvi.3 an( ^ seeing Me as man, ye think Me arrogant in bearing 
in Joan, \vitness of Myself. For any man who bears high testimony 
to himself, is thought proud and arrogant. But men are 
Chrys. frail, and may either speak the truth, or lie : the Light cannot 
Hom. l. ft e CHRYS. As to live according to the flesh is to live 

VRR. 13 18. ST. JOHN. 287 

amiss; so to judge according to the flesh, is to judge un 
justly. They might say, however, If we judge wrongly, why 
dost Thou not convict us, why dost Thou not condemn us? 
So He adds, I judge no man. AUG. Which may be under- Aug. 
stood in two ways; I judge no man, i. e. not now: as He Tra< ^.' 
says elsewhere, God sent not His Son into the world to a. 4. 
condemn the world, but that the world through Him might 
be saved: not that He abandons, but only defers, His justice. 
Or having said, Ye judge according to the flesh, He says 
immediately, I judge no man, to let you know that Christ 
does not judge according to the flesh, as men judged Him. 
For that Christ is a judge appears from the next words, And 
yet if I judge, My judgment is true. CHRYS. As if to say : chrya. 
In saying, I judge no man, I meant that I did not anticipate *?' 
judgment. If I judged justly, I should condemn you, but 
now is not the time for judging. He alludes however to the 
future judgment, in what follows; For I am not alone, but I 
and the Father that sent Me ; which means that He will not 
condemn them alone, but He and the Father together. This 
is intended too to quiet suspicion, as men did not think the 
Son worthy to be believed, unless He had the testimony of 
the Father also. AUG. But if the Father is with Thee, how Aug. 
did He send Thee ? O Lord, Thy mission is Thy incarnation, ^xxvi 7 
Christ was here according to the flesh without withdrawing 
from the Father, because the Father and the Son are every 
where. Blush, thou Sabellian ; our Lord doth not say, I 
am the Father, and I the self-same person am the Son ; but, 
/ am not alone, because the Father is with Me. Make a 
distinction then of persons, and distinction of intelligences : 
acknowledge that the Father is the Father, the Son the Son : 
but beware of saying, that the Father is greater, the Son less. 
Theirs is one substance, one coeternity, perfect equality. 
Therefore, He says, My judgment is true, because I am the 
Son of God. But that thou mayest understand how that the 
Father is with Me, it is not for the Son ever to leave the 
Father. I have taken up the form of a servant; but I have 
not lost the form of God. He had spoken of judgment: 
now He speaks of witness: It is also written in your law, 
that the testimony of two men is true. AUG. Is this made a 
bad use of by the Manichaeans, that our Lord does not say, 


in the law of God, but, in your law? Who does not recog 
nise here a manner of speaking customary in Scripture ? In 
your law, i. e. the law given to you. The Apostle speaks of 
his Gospel in the same way, though he testifies to having 
received it not from men, but by the revelation of Jesus 
Aug. Christ. AUG. There is much difficulty, and a great mystery 
xxxvi. seems to be contained, in God's words, In the mouth of two 
i>ut 10 or three witnesses, let every word be established. It is 
possible that two may speak false. The chaste Susannah 
was arraigned by two false witnesses : the whole people spake 
against Christ falsely. How then must we understand the 
word, By the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every 
word be established: except as an intimation of the mystery 
of the Trinity, in which is perpetual stability of truth? 
Receive then our testimony, lest } T e feel our judgment. I 
delay My judgment : I delay not My testimony : / am one 
that beareth witnes oj Myself, and the Father that sent Me 
beareth witness of Me. BEDE. In many places the Father 
Ps- 2. bears witness of the Son ; as, This day have I begotten Thee ; 
Matt. 3, also, This is My beloved Son. CHRYS. It is written in your law, 
Chrys. ^ ia ^ ^ e testimony of two men is true. If this is to be taken 
Horn, literally, in what respect does our Lord differ from men ? 
The rule has been laid down for men, on the ground that 
one man alone is not to be relied on : but how can this be 
applicable to God ? These words are quoted then with 
another meaning. When two men bear witness, both to an 
indifferent matter, their witness is true : this constitutes the 
testimony of two men. But if one of them bear witness to 
himself, then they are no longer two witnesses. Thus our 
Lord means to shew that He is consubstantial with the 
Father, and does not need another witness, i. e. besides the 
Father's. / and the Father that sent Me. Again, on human 
principles, when a man bears witness, his honesty is sup 
posed ; he is not borne witness to ; and a man is admitted 
as a fair and competent witness in an indifferent matter, but 
not in one relating to himself, unless he is supported by 
other testimony. But here it is quite otherwise. Our Lord, 
though giving testimony in His own case, and though saying 
that He is borne witness to by another, pronounces Himself 
worthy of belief; thus shewing His all-sufficiency. He says He 

VER. 19, 20. ST. JOHN. 289 

deserves to be believed. ALCUIN. Or it is as if He said, If 
your law admits the testimony of two men who may be 
deceived, and testify to more than is true ; on what grounds 
can you reject Mine and My Father's testimony, the highest 
and most sure of all ? 

19. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? 
Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father : 
if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father 

20. These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he 
taught in the temple : and no man laid hands on him ; 
for his hour was not yet come. 

AUG. Those who had heard our Lord say, Ye judge after Aug. 
the flesh, shewed that they did so; for they understood Tract .-. 
what He said of His Father in a carnal sense : TJien said 1. 
they unto Him, Where is Thy Father? meaning, We have 
heard Thee say, / am not alone, but I and the Father that 
sent Me. We see Thee alone ; prove to us then that Thy 
Father is with Thee. THEOPHYL. Some remark that this is 
said in contumely and contempt; to insinuate either that He 
is born of fornication, and knows not who His Father is ; or 
as a slur on the low situation of His father, i. e. Joseph ; as 
if to say, Thy father is an obscure, ignoble person ; why 
dost Thou so often mention him? So because they asked the 
question, to tempt Him, not to get at the truth, Jesus 
answered, Ye neither know Me, nor My Father. AUG. As Aug. 
if He said, Ye ask where is Tliy Father? As if ye knew Trac *: 
Me already, and I were nothing else but what ye see. Butn. 
ye know Me not, and therefore I tell you nothing of My 
Father. Ye think Me indeed a mere man, and therefore 
among men look for My Father. But, forasmuch as I am 
different altogether, according to My seen and unseen 
natures, and speak of My Father in the hidden sense accord 
ing to My hidden nature ; it is plain that ye must first know 
Me, and then ye will know My Father; If ye had known 
Me, ye would have known My Father also. CHRYS. He tells Chrys. 
them, it is of no avail for them to say they know the Father, 



Ong. if they do not know tlie Son. ORTGEN. Ye neither know 
tom.xix. j^ e ^ nor ^^ Father : this seems inconsistent with what was 

Joan, in said above, Ye both know Me, and know whence I am. 
But the latter is spoken in reply to some from Jerusalem, 
who asked, Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very 
Christ ? Ye neither know Me, is addressed to the Pharisees. 
To the former persons from Jerusalem however He said, He 
that sent Me is true, Whom ye know not. You will ask then, 
How is that true, If ye know Me, ye would know My Father 
also ? when they of Jerusalem, to whom He said, Ye know 
Me, did not know the Father. To this we must reply, that 
our Saviour sometimes speaks of Himself as man, and some 
times as God. Ye both know Me, He says as man : ye 

Au s- neither know Me, as God. AUG. What does this mean : //' 


xxxvii. ye knew Me, ye would know My Father also, but, I and My 

Father are one ? It is a common expression, when you see 

one man very like another, If you have seen him, you have 

seen the other. You say this, because they are so like. And 

thus our Lord says, If ye had known Me, ye had known My 

Father also; not that the Father is the Son, but that the 

Son is like the Father. THEOPHYL. Let the Arian blush: for 

if, as he says, the Son be a creature, how does it follow that 

he who knows the creature, knows God ? For not even by 

knowing the substance of Angels, does one know the Divine 

Substance ? Forasmuch therefore as he who knows the Son, 

knows the Father, it is certain that the Son is consubstantial 

Aug. with the Father. AUG. This word perhaps is used only 

xxxvili. by way of rebuke, though it seems to express doubt. As 

* 3 - used by men indeed it is the expression of doubt, but He 

who knew all things could only mean by that doubt to 

rebuke unbelief. Nay, even we sometimes say perhaps, 

when they are certain of a thing, e. g. when you are angry 

with your slave, and say, Do not you heed me ? Consider, 

perhaps I am your master. So our Lord's doubt is a reproof 

to the unbelievers, when He says, Ye should have known 

Orig. perhaps My Father also. ORIGEN. It is proper to observe, 

j ^ tnat the followers of other sects think this text proves clearly, 

Joan, in that the God, whom the Jews worshipped, was not the Father 

of Christ. For if, say they, our Saviour said this to the 

c forsitan in Vulgate, before fotin >. 

VER. 19, 20. ST. JOHN. -291 

Pharisees, who worshipped God as the Governor of the world, 
it is evident that the Father of Jesus, whom the Pharisees knew 
not, was a different person from the Creator. But they do not 
observe that this is a usual manner of speaking in Scripture. 
Though a man may know the existence of God, and have 
learned from the Father that He only must be worshipped, 
yet if his life is not good, he is said not to have the know 
ledge of God. Thus the sons of Eli, on account of their 
wickedness, are said not to have known God. And thus 
again the Pharisees did not know the Father ; because they 
did not live according to their Creator's command. And 
there is another thing meant too by knowing God, different 
from merely believing in Him. It is said, Be still then, andPa. 45, 
know that I am God. And this, it is certain, was written 
for a people that believed in the Creator. But to know by 
believing, and believe simply, are different things. To the 
Pharisees, to whom He says, Ye neither know Me, nor My 
Father, He could with right have said, Ye do not even 
believe in My Father ; for he who denies the Son, has not 
the Father, either by faith or knowledge. But Scripture 
gives us another sense of knowing a thing, viz. being joined 
to that thing. Adam knew his wife, when he was joined to 
her. And if he who is joined to a woman knows that 
woman, he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit, and knows 
the Lord. And in this sense the Pharisees neither knew the 
Father, nor the Son. But may not a man know God, and 
yet not know the Father? Yes; these are two different con 
ceptions. And therefore among an infinite number of 
prayers offered up in the Law, we do not find any one 
addressed to God the Father. They only pray to Him as 
God and Lord ; in order not to anticipate the grace shed by 
Jesus over the whole world, calling all men to the Sonship, 
according to the Psalm, / will declare Thy name unto my 

These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in 
the temple. ALCUIN. Treasury (Gazophylacium) : Gaza is 
the Persian for wealth : phylattein is to keep. It was a place 
in the temple, where the money was kept. CHRYS. He spake Chrys. 
in the temple magisterially, and now He was speaking to 
those who railed at and accused Him, for making Himself 



Aug. equal to the Father. AUG. Great however is His confidence 
i. anc ^ fearlessness: it not being possible that He should 

8> undergo any suffering, but that which He voluntarily under 
took. Wherefore it follows, And no man laid hands on Him, 
for His hour was not yet come. Some, when they hear this, 
think Christ to have been under the control of fate. But if 
fate comes from the verb fari, to speak, as some derive it, 
how can the Word of God be under the control of fate? 
Where are the fates ? In the heavens, you say, in the courses 
and revolutions of the stars. How then can fate have power 
over Him, by Whom the heavens and stars were made; when 
even thy will, if thou exert it aright, transcends the stars ? 
Dost thou think that because the flesh of Christ was placed 
beneath the heavens, that therefore His power was subjected 
to the heavens ? His hour then had not yet come; i. e. the 
hour, not on which he should be obliged to die, but on 

Orig. which He should deign to be put to death. ORIGEN. When- 

in Joan, ever it is added, Jesus spoke these words in such a place, 
you will, if you attend, discover a meaning in the addition. 

yatyu The treasury was a place for keeping the money, which was 
given for the honour of God, and the support of the poor. 
The coins are the divine words, stamped with the likeness 
of the great King. In this sense then let every one contribute 
to the edification of the Church, carrying into that spiritual 
treasury all that he can collect, to the honour of God, and 
the common good. But while all were thus contributing to 
the treasury of the temple, it was especially the office of Jews 
to contribute his gifts, which were the words of eternal life. 
While Jesus therefore was speaking in the treasury, no one 
laid hands on Him; His discourse being stronger than those 
who wished to take Him; for there is no weakness in that 
which the Word of God utters. BEDE. Or thus; Christ 
speaks in the treasury ; i. e. He had spoken in parables to 
the Jews ; but now that He unfolded heavenly things to His 
disciples, His treasury began to be opened, which was the 
meaning of the treasury being joined to the temple; all that 
the Law and the Prophets had foretold in figure, appertained 
to our Lord. 

21. Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, 

VEB. 21 24. ST. JOHN". 293 

and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins : 
whither I go, ye cannot come. 

22. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? 
because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. 

23. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath ; 
I am from above : ye are of this world, I am not of 
this world. 

24. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in 
your sins : for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall 
die in your sins. 

AUG. In accordance with what was just, He said that no man Aug. 
laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come: He Tract :.. 

y ' XXXVlll. 

now speaks to the Jews of His passion, as a free, and not a 2. 
compulsory sacrifice on His part: Then said Jesus again 
unto them, I go My way. Death to our Lord was a return 
to the place whence He had come. BEDE. The connexion of 
these words is such, that they might have been spoken at one 
place and one time, or at another place and another time : 
as either nothing at all, or some things, or many may have 
intervened. ORIGEN. But some one will object: If thisorig. 
was spoken to men who persisted in unbelief, how is it He 5^' 
says, Ye shall seek Me ? For to seek Jesus is to seek truth s. 3. 
and wisdom. You will answer that it was said of His 
persecutors, that they sought to take Him. There are 
different ways of seeking Jesus. All do not seek Him for 
their health and profit: and only they who seek Him aright, 
find peace. And they are said to seek Him aright, who seek 
the Word which was in the beginning with God, in order 
that He may lead them to the Father. AUG. Ye shall seek Aug> 
Me, then, He says, not from compassionate regret, but from Trac *:. 
hatred: for after He had departed from the eyes of men, 2. 
He was sought for both by those who hated, and those who 
loved Him : the one wanting to persecute, the other to have 
His presence. And that ye may not think that ye shall seek 
Me in a good sense, I tell you, Ye shall die in your sin. This Ve TI > 
is to seek Christ amiss, to die in one's sin : this is to hate j^",. 
Him, from Whom alone cometh salvation. He pronounces Trand. 
sentence on them prophetically, that they shall die in their 


sins. BEDE. Note: sin is in the singular number, your in 
the plural ; to express one and the same wickedness in all. 
. ORIGEN. But I ask, as it is said below that many believed 
in Joan! on Him, whether He speaks to all present, when He says, 
s. a. ye shall die in your sins ? No : He speaks to those only, 
whom He knew would not believe, and would therefore die 
in their sins, not being able to follow Him. Whither I go, 
He says, ye cannot come ; i. e. there where truth and wisdom 
are, for with them Jesus dwells. They cannot, He says, 
because they will not: for had they wished, He could not 
Ang. reasonably have said, Ye shall die in your sin. AUG. This 
xxvm. He tells His disciples in another place; without saying to 
s-2. them, however, Ye shall die in your &in> He only says, 
Whither I go, ye cannot follow Me now; not preventing, but 
Orig. only delaying their coming. ORIGEN. The Word, while 
3. " ' still present, yet threatens to depart. So long as we preserve 
the seeds of truth implanted in our minds, the Word of God 
does not depart from us. But if we fall into wickedness, 
then He says to us, I go away; and when we seek Him, we 
shall not find Him, but shall die in our sin, die caught in 
our sin. But we should not pass over without notice the ex 
pression itself: Ye shall die in your sins. If ye shall die be 
understood in the ordinary sense, it is manifest that sinners 
die in their sins, the righteous in their righteousness. But if 
we understand it of death in the sense of sin; then the mean 
ing is, that not their bodies, but their souls were sick unto 
death. The Physician seeing them thus grievously sick, says, 
Ye shall die in your sins. And this is evidently the meaning 
of the words, Whither I go yc cannot come. For when a man 
dies in his sin., he canjaot go where Jesus goes : no dead man 
Ps. us. can follow Jesus: The dead praise not Thee, O Lord. Aueu 
T r,f c ' t . They take these words, as they generally do, in a carnal sense, 
xxxviii. anc ] ask, Will He kill Himself, because He saith, Whither 
I go, ye cannot come? A foolish question. For why? Could 
they not go where He went, if He killed Himself? Were 
they never to die themselves? Whither I go, then, He says; 
meaning not His departure at death, but where He went after 
death. THEOPHYL. He shews here that He will rise again 
Orig. in glory, and sit at the right hand of God. ORIGEN. May 

fn'oan! tne y n0t however have a higher meaning in saying this? 
f. 4. 

VER. 21 - 24. ST. JOHN. 295 

For they had opportunities of knowing many things from 
their apocryphal books or from tradition. As then there was 
a prophetical tradition, that Christ was to be born at 
Bethlehem, so there may have been a tradition also respecting 
His death, viz. that He would depart from this life in the way 
which He declares, No man takethit from Me, but I lay it down,is. 
of Myself. So then the question, Will He kill Himself, is not 
to be taken in its obvious sense, but as referring to some Jewish 
tradition about Christ. For His saying, I go My u'tiy, shews 
that He had power over His own death, and departure from 
the body; so that these were voluntary on His part. But I 
think that they bring forward this tradition which had come 
down to them, on the death of Christ, contemptuously, and 
not with any view to give Him glory. Will He hill Himself? 
say they: whereas, they ought to have used a loftier way of 
speaking, and have said, Will His soul wait His pleasure, 
to depart from His body ? Our Lord answers, Ye are from 
beneath^ i. e. ye love earth; your hearts are not raised 
upwards. He speaks to them as earthly men, for their 
thoughts were earthly. CHRYS. As if to say, No wonder Chrys. 
that ye think as ye do, seeing ye are carnal, and understand j?. on ?* 
nothing spiritually. / am from above. AUG. From whom Aug. 
above ? From the Father Himself, Who is above all. Ye #f 

of this world, I am not of this world. How could He be of 4 - 
the world, by Whom the world was made ? BEDE. And 
Who was before the world, whereas they were of the world, 
having been created after the world had begun to exist. 
CHRYS. Or He says, / am not of this world, with reference Chrys. 
to worldly and vain thoughts. THEOPHYL. I affect nothing^?' 
worldly, nothing earthly: I could never come to such mad 
ness as to kill Myself. Apollinarius, however, falsely infers 
from these words, that our Lord's body was not of this world, 
but came down from heaven. Did the Apostles then, to 
whom our Lord says below, Ye are not of this world, derive c.15,19. 
all of them their bodies from heaven ? in saying then, / am 
not of this world, He must be understood to mean, I am not 
of the number of you, who mind earthly things. ORIGEN. Orig. 
Beneath, and, of this world, are different things. Beneath, 
refers to a particular place; this material world embraces s. 6. 


different tracts' 1 , which all are beneath, as compared with 
things immaterial and invisible, but, as compared with one 
another, some beneath, some above. Where the treasure of 
each is, there is his heart also. If a man then lay up treasure 
upon earth, he is beneath: if any man lay up treasure in 
heaven, he is above; yea, ascends above all hearers, attains 
to a most blissful end. And again, the love of this world 
makes a man of this world : whereas he who loveth not the 
world, neither the things that are in the world, is not of the 
world. Yet is there beyond this world of sense, another 
world, in which are things invisible, the beauty of which shall 
the pure in heart behold, yea, the First-born of every creature 
may be called the world, insomuch as He is absolute wisdom, 
and in wisdom all things were made. In Him therefore was 
the whole world, differing from the material world, in so far 

1 ratio as the * scheme divested of the matter, differs from the subject 
matter itself. The soul of Christ then says, / am not of this 
world; i. e. because it has not its conversation in this world. 

Aug. AUG. Our Lord expresses His meaning in the words, Ye are 
'. of this world, i. e. ye are sinners. All of us are born in sin ; 

6> all have added by our actions to the sin in which we were 
born. The misery of the Jews then was, not that they had 
sin, but that they would die in their sin : / said therefore 
unto you, that ye shall die in your sin. Amongst the multi 
tude, however, who heard our Lord, there were some who 
were about to believe; whereas this most severe sentence 
had gone forth against all : Ye shall die in your sin ; to the 
destruction of all hope even in those who should hereafter 
believe. So His next words recall the latter to hope : For 
if ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sin : 
therefore if ye believe that I am He, ye shall not die in your 

Chrys. sin. CHRYS. For if He carne in order to take away sin, and 

jj iit j' a man cannot put that off, except by washing, and cannot be 
baptized except he believe ; it follows, that he who believes 
not must pass out of this life, with the old man, i. e. sin, 
within him : not only because he believes not, but because 

Aug. he departs hence, with his former sins upon him. AUG. His 
. saying, If ye believe not that I am, without adding any thing, 


d e. g. earth beneath, sky above. 

VER. 2527. ST. JOHN. 297 

proves a great deal. For thus it was that God spoke to 
Moses, / am that I am. But how do I understand, / awExod.3. 
that I am, and, If ye believe not that I am ? In this 
way. All excellence, of whatever kind, if it be mutable, 
cannot be said really to be, for there is no real to be, where there 
is a not to be. Analyze the idea of mutability, and you will find, 
was, and will be ; contemplate God, and you will find, is, 
without possibility of a past. In order to be, thou must leave 
him behind thee. So then, If ye believe not that I am, means 
in fact, If ye believe not that I am God ; this being the con 
dition, on which we shall not die in our sins. God be 
thanked that He says, If ye believe not, not, If ye under 
stand not; for who could understand this? ORIGEN. It isOn'g. 
manifest, that he, who dies in his sins, though he say that he 
believes in Christ, does not really believe. For he who 
believes in His justice does not do injustice ; he who believes 
in His wisdom, does not act or speak foolishly ; in like 
manner with respect to the other attributes of Christ, you 
will find that he who does not believe in Christ, dies in his 
sins : inasmuch as he comes to be the very contrary of what 
is seen in Christ. 

25. Then said they unto him, Who art thou ? And 
Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said 
unto you from the beginning. 

20. I have many things to say and to judge of you : 
but he that sent me is true ; and I speak to the world 
those things which I have heard of him. 

27. They understood not that he spake to them of 
the Father. 

AUG. Our Lord having said, If ye believe not that I am, Aug 
ye shall die in your sins , they enquire of Him, as if wishing to 
know in whom they are to believe, that they might not dies. 
in their sin : Then said they unto Him, Who art Thou ? For 
when Thou saidst, If ye believe not that I am, Thou didst 
not add, who Thou art. But our Lord knew that these were 
some who would believe, and therefore after being asked, 
Who art Thou? that such might know what they should 
believe Him to be, Jesus saith unto them, The beginning, 


who also speak to you; not as if to say, / am the beginning, 
but, Believe Me to be the beginning; as is evident from 
the Greek, where beginning is feminine. Believe Me 
then to be the beginning, but ye die in your sins: for 
the beginning cannot be changed ; it remains fixed in 

xx3dx ^ se ^' an ^ is the source of change to all things. But it is 

1, 2. absurd to call the Son the beginning, and not the Father 
also. And yet there are not two beginnings, even as these 
are not two Gods. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the 
Father and the Son ; not being either the Father, or the Son. 
Yet Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one God, one Light, 

lract :.. one beginning. He adds, Who also speak to you, i. e. 

li.< Who humbled Myself for your sakes, and condescended to 
those words. Therefore believe Me to be the beginning ; 
because that ye may believe this, not only am I the begin 
ning, but I also speak with you, that ye may believe that I 
am. For if the Beginning had remained with the Father in its 
original nature, and not taken upon it the form of a servant, 
how could men have believed in it? Would their weakly 
minds have taken in the spiritual Word, without the medium 
of sensible sound ? BEDE. In some copies we find, Who 
also speak to you; but it is more consistent to read/br (quia), 
not, who (qui) : in which case the meaning is : Believe Me to 
be the beginning, for for your sakes have I condescended to 

Chrys. these words. CHRYS. See here the madness of the Jews ; 

liii. 1. asking after so long time, and after all His miracles and 
teaching, Who art Thou ? What is Christ's answer ? From 
the beginning I speak with you ; as if to say, Ye do not 
deserve to hear any thing from Me, much less this thing, 
Who I am. For ye speak always, to tempt Me. But I 
could, if I would, confound and punish you: / have many 

Aug. things to say, and to judge of you. AUG. Above He said, 

xxxlx*. I J ua 9 e no man but, / judge not, is one thing, / have to 
judge, another. / judge not, He says, with reference to 
the present time. But the other, / have many things to say, 
and to judge of you, refers to a future judgment. And I 
shall be true in My judgment, because I am truth, the Son of 
the true One. He that sent Me is true. My Father is true, 
not by partaking of, but begetting truth. Shall we say that 
truth is greater than one who is true? If we say this, we shall 

VER. 28 80. ST. JOHN. 299 

begin to call the Son greater than the Father. CHRYS. He Chrys. 
says this, that they may not think that He allows them touji. i* 
talk against Him with impunity, from inability to punish 
them; or that He is not alive to their contemptuous designs. 
THEOPHYL. Or having said, / have many things to say, and 
to judge of you, thus reserving His judgment for a future 
time, He adds, But He that sent Me is true: as if to say, 
Though ye are unbelievers, My Father is true, Who hath 
appointed a day of retribution for you. CHRYS. Or thus: As chl 7 s - 
My Father hath sent Me not to judge the world, but to save mi. i'. 
the world, and My Father is true, I accordingly judge no 
man now ; but speak thus for your salvation, not your con 
demnation : And I speak to the world those things that I 
have heard of Him. ALCUIN. And to hear from the Father 
is the same as to be from the Father; He has the hearing 
from the same sense that He has the being. AUG. The Aug. 
coequal Son gives glory to the Father: as if to say, I gi* 7 e x: [*j 
glory to Him whose Son 1 am : how proudly thou detractest s - 6 - 
from Him, whose servant Thou art. ALCUIN. They did not 
understand however what He meant by saying, He is true 
that sent Me: they understand not that He spake to them of 
the Father. For they had not the eyes of their mind yet 
opened, to understand the equality of the Father with the 

28. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have 
lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I 
am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my 
Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 

29. And he that sent me is with me : the Father 
hath not left me alone ; for I do always those things 
that please him. 

30. As he spake these words, many believed on 

AUG. When our Lord said, He is true that sent Me, the Aug. 
Jews did not understand that He spake to them of the 
Father. But He saw some there, who, He knew, would 
believe on Him after His passion. Then said Jesus unto 
them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then ye shall 


know that I am. Recollect the words, / am that I am, and 

o I 

ye will know why I say, / am. I pass over your knowledge, 
in order that I may fulfil My passion. In your appointed 
time ye will know who I am ; when ye have lifted up the 
Son of man. He means the lifting up of the cross; for He 
was lifted up on the cross, when He hung thereon. This 
was to be accomplished by the hands of those who should 
afterwards believe, whom He is now speaking to ; with what 
intent, but that no one, however great his wickedness and 
consciousness of guilt might despair, seeing even the mur- 
Chrys. derers of our Lord forgiven. CHRYS. Or the connection is 
HiiT'2 this: When His miracles and teaching had failed to convert 
men, He spoke of the cross ; When ye have lifted up the 
Son of man, then ye shall know that I am He : as if to say, 
Ye think that ye have killed Me ; but I say that ye shall 
then, by the evidence of miracles, of My resurrection, and 
your captivity, know most especially, that I am Christ the 
Son of God, and that I do not act in opposition to God ; 
But that as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things. 
Here He shews the likeness of His substance to the Father's; 
and that He says nothing beyond the Paternal intelligence. 
If I were contrary to God, I should not have moved His 
Au g- anger so much against those who did not hear Me. AUG. 
8.3. et' Or thus: Having said, Then shall ye know that I am, and in 
8e< l' this, lam, implied the whole Trinity: lest the Sabellian error 
should creep in, He immediately adds, And 1 do nothing 
of Myself; as if to say, I am not of Myself; the Son is God 
from the Father. Let not what follows, as the Father hath 
taught Me, I speak these things, suggest a carnal thought to 
any of you. Do not place as it were two men before your 
eyes, a Father speaking to his son, as you do when you 
speak to your sons. For what words could be spoken to the 
only Word ? If the Father speaks in your hearts without 
sound, how does He speak to the Son ? The Father speaks 
to the Son incorporeally, because He begat the Son incor- 
poreally: nor did He teach Him, as having begotten Him 
untaught; rather the teaching Him, was the begetting Him 
knowing. For if the nature of truth be simple, to be, in the 
Son, is the same as to know. As then the Father gave the 
Son existence by begetting, so He gave Him knowledge also. 

VR. 3136. ST. JOHN. 301 

CHRYS. He gives now a humbler turn to the discourse: AndChrjs. 
He that sent Me. That this might not be thought however J??; 
to imply inferiority, He says, /* with Me. The former is 
His dispensation, the latter His divinity. AUG. And though Aug. 
both are together, yet one is sent, the other sends. For the 
mission is the incarnation; and the incarnation is of the Son 
only, not of the Father. He says then, He that sent Me, 
meaning, By whose Fatherly authority I am made incar 
nate. The Father however, though He sent the Son, did 
not withdraw from Him, as He proceeds to say : The Father 
hath not left Me alone. For it could not be that where He 
sent the Son, there the Father was not; He who says, IJHlJer.33. 
heaven and earth. And He adds the reason why He did 
not leave Him : For I do always those things that please 
Him; always, i. e. not from any particular beginning, but 
without beginning and without end. For the generation 
from the Father hath no beginning in time. CHRYS. Or, He Chrys. 
means it as an answer to those who were constantly saying th 
He was not from God, and that because He did not keep the 
sabbath; I do always, He says, do those things that please 
Him; shewing that the breaking the sabbath even was pleasing 
to Him. He takes care in every way to shew that He does 
nothing contrary to the Father. And as this was speaking 
more after a human fashion, the Evangelist adds, As He spake 
these words, many believed on Him ; as if to say, Do not be 
disturbed at hearing so humble a speech from Christ; for those 
who had heard the greatest doctrines from Him, and were 
not persuaded, were persuaded by these words of humility. 
These then believed on Him, yet not as they ought; but 
only out of joy, and approbation of His humble way of 
speaking. And this the Evangelist shews in his subsequent 
narration, which relates their unjust proceedings towards 

31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed 
on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my 
disciples indeed; 

32. And ye shall know the truth, and the truth 
shall make you free. 


33. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, 
and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest 
thou, Ye shall be made free? 

34. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto 
you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 

35. And the servant abideth not in the house for 
ever: but the Son abideth ever. 

36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye 
shall be free indeed. 

Aug. CHRYS. Our Lord wished to try the faith of those who 
believed, that it might not be only a superficial belief: Then 

Horn. sa id J esus to those Jeics which believed on Him, If ye con- 
liv. 1. 

tinue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed. His 

saying, if ye continue, made it manifest what was in their 
hearts. He knew that some believed, and would not continue. 
And He makes them a magnificent promise, viz. that they 
shall become His disciples indeed; which words are a tacit 
rebuke to some who had believed and afterwards withdrawn. 
Aug. AUG. We have all one Master, and are fellow disciples 
deVerb. unc i er Him. Nor because we speak with authority, are we 
s. xlvii. therefore masters; but He is the Master of all, Who dwells in 
the hearts of all. It is a small thing for the disciple to come 
to Him in the first instance: he must continue in Him : if 
we continue not in Him, we shall fall. A little sentence 
this, but a great work; if ye continue. For what is it to 
continue in God's word, but to yield to no temptations? 
Without labour, the reward would be gratis; if with, then a 
great reward indeed. 

Aug. And ye shall know the truth. AUG. As if to say : Whereas 

r ' x ul 'ye have now belief, by continuing, ye shall have sight. For 

xl. 9. it was not their knowledge which made them believe, but 

rather their belief which gave them knowledge. Faith is 

to believe that which you see not: truth to see that which 

you believe? By continuing then to believe a thing, you 

come at last to see the thing; i. e. to the contemplation of 

the very truth as it is; not conveyed in words, but revealed 

by light. The truth is unchangeable; it is the bread of the 

soul, refreshing others, without diminution to itself; changing 

VEK. 31 36. ST. JOHN. 303 

him who eats into itself, itself not changed. This truth is 
the Word of God, which put on flesh for our sakes, and lay 
hid ; not meaning to bury itself, but only to defer its mani 
festation, till its suffering in the body, for the ransoming of 
the body of sin, had taken place. CHRYS. Or, ye shall know Chrys. 
the truth, i. e. Me: for I am the truth. The Jewish was aj?* 
typical dispensation; the reality ye can only know from Me. 
AUG. Some one might say perhaps, And what does it profit Aug. 
me to know the truth ? So our Lord adds, And the truth p ^, erb ' 
shall free you; as if to say, If the truth doth not delight Serm. 
you, liberty will. To be freed is to be made free, as to be fxJ^l. 
healed is to be made whole. This is plainer in the Greek ; t" fu 
in the Latin we use the word free chiefly in the sense of 
escape of danger, relief from care, and the like. THEOPHYL. 
As He said to the unbelievers alone, Ye shall die in your sin, 
so now to them who continue in the faith He proclaims 
absolution. AUG. From what shall the truth free us, but Aug. 
from death, corruption, mutability, itself being immortal, ^'rfa c 
uncorrupt, immutable? Absolute immutability is in itself 18. 
eternity. CHRYS. Men who really believed could have borne Chrys. 
to be rebuked. Bui these men began immediately to shew-? ' 
anger. Indeed if they had been disturbed at His former 
saying, they had much more reason to be so now. For they 
might argue; If He says we shall know the truth, He must 
mean that we do not know it now: so then the law is a lie, 
our knowledge a delusion. But their thoughts took no 
such direction: their grief is wholly worldly; they know of 
no other servitude, but that of this world: They answered 
Him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to 
any man. How sayest Thou then, we shall be made free? 
As if to say, They of Abraham's stock are free, and ought 
not to be called slaves: we have never been in bondage to 
anyone. AUG. Or it was not those who believed, but the Aug. 
unbelieving multitude that made this answer. But how Tr<xl1 - 2 ' 
could they say with truth, taking only secular bondage into 
account, that we have never been in bondage to any man ? 
Was not Joseph sold? were not the holy prophets carried into 
captivity ? Ungrateful people ! Why does God remind you so 
continually of His having taken you out of the house of bond 
age if you never were in bondage ? Why do you who are now 


talking, pay tribute to the Romans, if you never were in 
Chrys. bondage? CHRYS. Christ then, who speaks for their good, 
liv.i. not to gratify their vainglory, explains His meaning to have 
been that they were the servants not of men, but of sin, the 
hardest kind of servitude, from which God only can rescue: 
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Who- 
Aug. soever committeth sin is the servant of sin. AUG. This 
3 /' '' asseveration is important: it is, if one may say so, His 
oath. Amen means true, but is not translated. Neither the 
Greek nor the Latin Translator have dared to translate it. 
It is a Hebrew word; and men have abstained from trans 
lating it, in order to throw a reverential veil over so 
mysterious a word: not that they wished to lock it up, but 
only to prevent it from becoming despised by being exposed. 
How important the word is, you may see from its being 
repeated. Verily I say unto you, says Verity itself; which 
could not be, even though it said not verily. Our Lord how 
ever has recourse to this mode of enforcing His words, in 
order to rouse men from their state of sleep and indifference. 
Whosoever, He saith, committeth sin, whether Jew or Greek, 
Greg, rich or poor, king or beggar, is the servant of sin. GREG. 
c. 42. in Because whoever yields to wrong desires, puts his hitherto 
Nov. f ree sou i under the yoke of the evil one, and takes him for 

Ex 21* 

his master. But we oppose this master, when we struggle 
against the wickedness which has laid hold upon us, when 
we strongly resist habit, when w r e pierce sin with repentance, 
Greg, and wash away the spots of filth with tears. GREG. And 
Moral *^ e more freely men follow their perverse desires, the more 
c. 20. closely are they in bondage to them. AUG. O miserable 
bondage ! The slave of a human master when wearied with 
14> the hardness of his tasks, sometimes takes refuge in flight. 
But whither does the slave of sin flee ? He takes it along 
with him, wherever he goes ; for his sin is within him. The 
pleasure passes away, but the sin does not pass away: its 
delight goes, its sting remains behind. He alone can free 
from sin, who came without sin, and was made a sacrifice 
for sin. And thus it follows: The servant abideth not in the 
house for ever. The Church is the house: the servant is the 
sinner; and many sinners enter into the Church. So He 
does not say, The servant is, not in the house; but, The 

VBR.331 36. ST. JOHN. 305 

servant abideth not in the house for ever. If a time then is 
to come, when there shall be no servant in the house; who 
will there be there? Who will boast that he is pure from sin? 
Christ's are fearful words. But He adds, The Son abideth 
for ever. So then Christ will live alone in His house. Or 
does not the word Son, imply both the body and the head? 
Christ purposely alarms us first, and then gives us hope. 
He alarms us, that we may not love sin ; He gives us hope, 
that we may not despair of the absolution of our sin. Our 
hope then is this, that we shall be freed by Him who is 
free. He hath paid the price for us, not in money, but in 
His own blood: If the Son therefore shall make you free, 
ye shall be free indeed. AUG. Not from the barbarians, but Aug. 
from the devil; not from the captivity of the body, but from 
the wickedness of the soul. AUG. The first stage of freedom Ser. 
is, the abstaining from sin. But that is only incipient, it i 

not perfect freedom : for the flesh still lusteth against the 8Q P er 
spirit, so that ye do not do the things that ye would. FullTr. x'l. 
and perfect freedom will only be, when the contest is over, 10 - et 
and the last enemy, death, is destroyed. CHRYS. Or thus: Chrys. 
Having said that whosoever committeth sin, is the servant?? ' 

hv. 1,2 

of sin, He anticipates the answer that their sacrifices saved 
them, by saying, The servant abideth not in the house for 
ever, but the Son abideth ever. The house, He says, mean 
ing the Father's house on high ; in which, to draw a com 
parison from the world, He Himself had all the power, just 
as a man has all the power in his own house. Abideth not, 
means, has not the power of giving; which the Son, who is 
the master of the house, has. The priests of the old law had 
not the power of remitting sins by the sacraments of the law; 
for all were sinners. Even the priests, who, as the Apostle 
says, were obliged to offer up sacrifices for themselves. But 
the Son has this power; and therefore our Lord concludes : 
If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed; 
implying that that earthly freedom, of which men boasted so 
much, was not true freedom. AUG. Do not then abuse your Aug. 
freedom, for the purpose of sinning freely; but use it in order J r - xlu 
not to sin at all. Your will will be free, if it be merciful : 
you will be free, if you become the servant of righteous 


37. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye 
seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in 

38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father : 
and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 

39. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is 
our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abra 
ham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 

40. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath 
told you the truth, which I have heard of God : this 
did not Abraham. 

41 . Ye do the deeds of your father. 

Aug. AUG. The Jews had asserted they were free, because they 
Tr. xlii. were Abraham's seed. Our Lord replies, I know that ye 
are Abraham's seed; as if to say, I know that ye are the 
sons of Abraham, but according to the flesh, not spiritually 
Chrys. and by faith. So He adds, But ye seek to kill Me. CHRYS. 
]j v " He says this, that they might not attempt to answer, that 
they had no sin. He reminds them of a present sin; a sin 
which they had been meditating for some time past, and which 
was actually at this moment in their thoughts: putting out 
of the question their general course of life. He thus removes 
them by degrees out of their relationship to Abraham, teach 
ing them not to pride themselves so much upon it : for that, 
as bondage and freedom were the consequences of works, 
so was relationship. And that they might not say, We do 
so justly, He adds the reason why they did so ; Because 
Aug. My word hath no place in you. AUG. That is, hath not 
Tr. xln. pi ace j n your heart % because your heart does not take it in. 
The word of God to the believing, is like the hook to the 
fish; it takes when it is taken: and that not to the injury of 
those who are caught by it. They are caught for their 
Chrys. salvation, not for their destruction. CHRYS. He does not 
Horn, gay, Ye do not take in My word, but My word has not 
room in you; shewing the depth of His doctrines. But 
they might say ; What if thou speakest of thyself? So He 
adds, I speak that which I have seen of My Father; for I 
capit Vulg. for ^uyitli. Aug. goes off upon the Latin word. 

VER. 37 41. ST. JOHN. 307 

have not only the Father's substance, but His truth. AUG. Aug. 

rp !* 

Our Lord by His Father wishes us to understand God: ' 3 

if to say, I have seen the truth, I speak the truth, because I 
am the truth. If our Lord then speaks the truth which He 
saw with the Father, it is Himself that He saw, Himself 
that He speaks; He being Himself the truth of the 
Father. ORIGEN. This is proof that our Saviour wasorig. 

witness to what was done with the Father: whereas men. to* on V xx * 
. ,111 Joan. 

whom the revelation is made, were not witnesses. THE-S. 7. 
OPHYL. But when you hear, I speak that which I have seen, 
do not think it means bodily vision, but innate knowledge, 
sure, and approved. For as the eyes when they see an object, 
see it wholly and correctly ; so I speak with certainty what I 
know from My Father. 

And ye do that which ye have seen with your father. Orig. 
ORIGEN. As yet He has not named their father; He men-j3 m ' xx ' 
tioned Abraham indeed a little above, but now He is going 
to mention another father, viz. the devil: whose sons they 
were, in so far as they were wicked, not as being men. Our 
Lord is reproaching them for their evil deeds. CHRYS. 
Another reading has, And 1 do ye do that which ye have seen 1 *eit7n, 
with your father; as if to say, As I both in word and deed^ rf ' 
declare unto you the Father, so do ye by your works shew 
forth Abraham. ORIGEN. Also another reading has; Ando T ig. 
do ye do what ye have heard from the Father. All that \vas* om>xx ' 
written in the Law and the Prophets they had heard from 
the Father. He who takes this reading, may use it to prove 
against them who hold otherwise, that the God who gave the 
Law and the Prophets, was none other than Christ's Father. 
d And we use it too as an answer to those who maintain two 
original natures in men, and explain the words, My word c . 8. 
hath no place in you, to mean that these were by nature 
incapable of receiving the word. How could those be of an 
incapable nature, who had heard from the FatJter"? And 
how again could they be of a blessed nature, who sought to 
kill our Saviour, and would not receive His words. They 
answered and said unto Him, Abraham is our father. This 
answer of the Jews is a great falling off' from our Lord's 

<1 This is the meaning of the original; The reading in Origen for, have 
it is slightly altered in the Catena. seen with your father. 


meaning. He had referred to God, but they take Father in 
Au - the sense of the father of their nature, Abraham. AUG. As if 
s . 3. 'to say, What art thou going to say against Abraham ? They 
seem to be inviting Him to say something in disparagement 
of Abraham ; and so to give them an opportunity of executing 
Orig. their purpose. ORIGEN. Our Saviour denies that Abraham 
torn. xx. j s t jj e j r f a th er . J e s U s saith unto them, If ye were Abrahani's 
Au g- children, ye would do the ivorks of Abraham. AUG. And 
4.' 'yet He says above, 1 know that ye are Abraham'' s seed. 
So He does not deny their origin, but condemns their deeds. 
Orig- Their flesh was from him; their life was not. ORIGEN. Or 
2. et sq. w 'e may explain the difficulty thus. Above it is in the Greek, 
1 know that ye are Abraliani's seed. So let us examine 
whether there is not a difference between a bodily seed and a 
child. It is evident that a seed contains in itself all the 
proportions of him whose seed it is, as yet however dormant, 
and waiting to be developed; when the seed first has changed 
and moulded the material it meets with in the woman, de 
rived nourishment from thence and gone through a process 
in the womb, it becomes a child, the likeness of its begetter. 
So then a child is formed from the seed : but the seed is not 
necessarily a child. Now with reference to those who are 
from their works judged to be the seed of Abraham, may we 
not conceive that they are so from certain seminal propor 
tions implanted in their souls ? All men are not the seed of 
Abraham, for all have not these proportions implanted in 
their souls. But he who is the seed of Abraham, has yet 
to become his child by likeness. And it is possible for him 
by negligence and indolence even to cease to be the seed. 
But those to whom these words were addressed, were not yet 
cut off from hope : and therefore Jesus acknowledged that 
they were as yet the seed of Abraham, and had still the 
power of becoming children of Abraham. So He says, If ye 
are the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. If 
as the seed of Abraham, they had attained to their proper 
sign and growth, they would have taken in our Lord's words. 
But not having grown to be children, they cared not; but 
wish to kill the Word, and as it were break it in pieces, since 
it was too great for them to take in. If any of you then be 
the seed of Abraham, and as yet do not take in the word of 

VER. 37 41. ST. JOHN. 309 

God, let him not seek to kill the word ; but rather change 
himself into being a son of Abraham, and then he will be 
able to take in the Son of God. Some select one of the 
works of Abraham, viz. that in Genesis, And Abraham be- Gen. 15, 
lieved God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. 6> 
But even granting to them that faith is a work, if this were 
so, why was it not, Do the work of Abraham: using the 
singular number, instead of the plural? The expression as 
it stands is, I think, equivalent to saying, Do all the works 
of Abraham : i. e. in the spiritual sense, interpreting Abra 
ham's history allegorically. For it is not incumbent on one, 
who would be a son of Abraham, to marry his maidservants, 
or after his wife's death, to marry another in his old age. 

But now ye seek to kill Me, a man that hath told you the 
truth. CHRYS. This truth, that is, that He was equal to Chrys. 
the Father : for it was this that moved the Jews to kill Him. ^^ 
To shew, however, that this doctrine is not opposed to the 
Father, He adds, Which I have heard from God. ALCUIN. 
Because He Himself, Who is the truth, was begotten of God 
the Father, to hear, being in fact the same with to be from 
the Father. OKIGEN. To kill Me, He says, a man. I say Orig. 
nothing now of the Son of God, nothing of the Word, because * om - xx - 
the Word cannot die ; I speak only of that which ye see. It 
is in your power to kill that which you see, and offend Him 
Whom ye see not. 

This did not Abraham. ALCUIN. As if to say, By this you 
prove that you are not the sons of Abraham ; that you do 
works contrary to those of Abraham. ORIGEN. It might Orig. 
seem to some, that it were superfluous to say that Abraham*"-**- 
did not this ; for it were impossible that it should be ; Christ 
was not born at that time. But we may remind them, that in 
Abraham's time there was a man born who spoke the truth, 
which he heard from God, and that this man's life was not 
sought for by Abraham. Know too that the Saints were 
never without the spiritual advent of Christ. I understand 
then from this passage, that every one who, after regenera 
tion, and other divine graces bestowed upon him, commits 
sin, does by this return to evil incur the guilt of crucifying 
the Son of God, which Abraham did not do. 

Ye do the works of your father. AUG. He does not say x" g jiii 



Chrys. as yet who is their father. CHRYS. Our Lord says this with 
1{ V a view to put down their vain boasting of their descent ; and 
persuade them to rest their hopes of salvation no longer on 
the natural relationship, but on the adoption. For this it 
was which prevented them from coming to Christ; viz. their 
thinking that their relationship to Abraham was sufficient for 
their salvation. 

41. Then said they to him, We be not born of for 
nication; we have one Father, even God. 

42. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, 
ye would love me : for I proceeded forth and came from 
God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 

43. Why do ye not understand my speech? even 
because ye cannot hear my word. 

Aug. AUG. The Jews had begun to understand that our Lord 
7/' n ' was not speaking of sonship according to the flesh, but of 
manner of life. Scripture often speaks of spiritual forni 
cation, with many gods, and of the soul being prostituted, 
as it were, by paying worship to false gods. This explains 
what follows: Then said they to Him, We be not born of 
fornication; we have one Father, even God. THEOPHYL. 
As if their motive against Him was a desire to avenge God's 
Orig. honour. ORIGEN. Or their sonship to Abraham having been 
torn. xx. ^proved, they reply by bitterly insinuating, that our Saviour 
was the offspring of adultery. But perhaps the tone of the 
answer is disputatious, more than any thing else. For 
whereas they have said shortly before, We have Abraham 
for our father, and had been told in reply, If ye are 
Abraham's children, do the works of Abraham ; they declare 
in return that they have a greater Father than Abraham, i. e. 
God ; and that they were not derived from fornication. For 
quinihilthe devil, who has no power of creating any thing from him- 
facit ex ge j^ b e g e t s n ot from a spouse, but a harlot, i. e. matter, those 
who give themselves up to carnal things, that is, cleave to 
Chrys. matter. CHRYS. But what say ye ? Have ye God for your 
Hom. Fathe^ and do ye blame Christ for speaking thus ? Yet 
true it was, that many of them were born of fornication, for 

VER. 41 43. ST. JOHN. 311 

people then used to form unlawful connexions. But this is 
not the thing our Lord has in view. He is bent on proving 
that they are not from God. Jesus said unto them, If God 
were your Father, ye would love Me : for 1 proceeded forth 
and came from God. HILARY. It was not that the Son of Hilar. 
God condemned the assumption of so religious a name; that^ in e c 
is, condemned them for professing to be the sons of God, and so. 
calling God their Father; but that He blamed the rash pre 
sumption of the Jews in claiming God for their Father, when 
they did not love the Son. For I proceeded forth, and came 
from God. To proceed forth, is not the same with to come. 
When our Lord says that those who called God their Father, 
ought to love Him, because He came forth from God, He 
means that His being born of God was the reason why He 
should be loved: the proceeding forth, having reference to 
His incorporeal birth. Their claim to be the sons of God, 
was to be made good by their loving Christ, Who was begotten 
from God. For a true worshipper of God the Father must 
love the Son, as being from God f . And he only can love 
the Father, who believes that the Son is from Him. AUG. Aug. 
This then is the eternal procession, the proceeding forth of g r ' 
the Word from God: from Him It proceeded as the Word 
of the Father, and came to us: The Word was made flesh, c. 1, 14. 
His advent is His humanity: His staying, His divinity. Ye 
call God your Father; acknowledge Me at least to be a 
brother. HILARY. In what follows, He teaches that His Hilar. 
origin is not in Himself; Neither came I qf Myself , but He 'j b j^ v ' 
sent Me. ORIGEN. This was said, I think, in allusion to Orig. 
some who came without being sent by the Father, of whom * m< xr * 
it is said in Jeremiah, I have not sent these prophets, yet they j er 23 
ran. Some, however, use this passage 1 to prove the ex- 21. 
istence of two natures 8 . To these we may reply, Paul hated God 
Jesus when he persecuted the Church of God, at the time, w o ere 
viz. that our Lord said, Wlvy persecutest thou Me? Now Father, 
if it is true, as is here said, // God were your Father, A c c ' ts 9 
ye would love Me ; the converse is true, If ye do not love 4 - 
Me, God is not your Father. And Paul for some time did 

1 The Son is from God not by reason men were of a good nature, being the 
of His advent, but His nativity. creation of God, others evil, being 

S Alluding to the belief that some made by the devil. 


not love Jesus. There was a time when God was not Paul's 

father. Paul therefore was not by nature the son of God, 

but afterwards was made so. And when does God become 

any one's Father, except when he keeps His commandments? 

Chrys. CHRYS. And because they were ever enquiring, What is this 

liv. 3. which He saith, Whither 1 yo ye cannot come? He adds 

here, Why do ye not understand My speech ? even because 

Aug. ye cannot hear My word. AUG. And they could not hear, 

9/' "'because they would not believe, and amend their lives. 

Or 'g- ORIGEN. First then, that virtue must be sought after, which 

torn. xx. , , . . 1111 

18. hears the divine word ; that by degrees we may be strong 

(Nic.) enough to embrace the whole teaching of Jesus. For so 
long as a man has not had his hearing restored by the Word, 

Mark which says to the deaf ear, Be opened: so long he cannot 
7, 34. 


44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts 
of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from 
the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because 
there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he 
speaketh of his own : for he is a liar, and the father 
of it. 

45. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me 

46. Which of you convinceth me of sin ? And 
if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me ? 

47. He that is of God heareth God's words: 
ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of 

Chrys. CHRYS. Our Lord, having already cut off' the Jews from 

liv. 3. relationship to Abraham, overthrows now this far greater 

claim, to call God their Father, Ye are of your father the 

Aug. devil. AUG. Here we must guard against the heresy of the 

1( x "' Mairichasans, who hold a certain original nature of evil, and 

a nation of darkness with princes at their head, whence the 

devil derives his existence. And thence they say our flesh 

is produced ; and in this way interpret our Lord's speech, 

VER. 44 47. ST. JOHN. 313 

Ye are of your father the devil: viz. to mean that they 
were by nature evil, drawing their origin from t*he opposite 
seed of darkness. ORIGEN. And this seems to be theOrig. 
same mistake, as if one said, that an eye which saw right om ' xx " 
was different in kind from an eye which saw wrong. 
For just as in these there is no difference of kind, only one 
of them for some reason sees wrong; so, in the other case, 
whether a man receives a doctrine, or whether he does not, 
he is of the same nature. AUG. The Jews then were children Aug. 
of the devil by imitation, not by birth : And the lusts of your llt ' 
father ye will do, our Lord says. Ye are his children then, 
because ye have such lusts, not because ye are born of him : 
for ye seek to kill Me^ a man that hath told you the truth : 
and he envied man, and killed him : he was a murderer from 
the beginning; i. e. of the first man on whom a murder 
could be committed: man could not be slain, before man 
was created. The devil did not go, girt with a sword, against 
man : he sowed an evil word, and slew him. Do not suppose 
therefore that you are not guilty of murder, when you suggest 
evil thoughts to your brother. The very reason why ye 
rage against the flesh, is that ye cannot assault th a soul. 
ORIGEN. Consider too ; it was not one man only that he Or 'g- 
killed, but the whole human race, inasmuch as in Adam 21. 
all die; so that he is truly called a murderer from the be 
ginning. CHRYS. He does not say, his works, but his lusts Chrys. 
ye will do, meaning that both the devil and the Jews ij v . 3'. 
were bent on murder, to satisfy their envy. And stood 
not in the truth. He shews whence sprang their continual 
objection to Him, that He was not from God > . AUG. But Aug. 
it will be objected perhaps, that if from the beginning of^^Cei 
his existence, the devil stood not in the truth, he was never - 13 - 
in a state of blessedness with the holy angels, refusing, as 
he did, to be subject to his Creator, and therefore false and 
deceitful; unwilling at the cost of pious subjection to hold 
that which by nature he was; and attempting in his pride 
and loftiness to simulate that which he was not. This 
opinion is not the same with that of the Manichaeans, that 
the devil has his own peculiar nature, derived as it were 
from the opposite principle of evil. This foolish sect does 
not see that our Lord says not, Was alien from the truth, but 


Stood not in the truth, meaning, fell from the truth. And 
l John thus they interpret John, The devil sinnelh from the beginning, 
not seeing that if sin is natural, it is no sin. But what do 
the testimonies of the prophets reply ? Isaiah, setting forth 
the devil under the figure of the prince of Babylon, says, 
How art thou fallen from heaven, Lucifer, son of the 
Ezek. morning ! Ezekiel says, Thou hast been in Eden, the garden 
28, 13. Q jf G. O Which passages, as they cannot be interpreted in 
any other way, shew that we must take the word, He stood 
not in the truth, to mean, that he was in truth, but did not 
remain in it; and the other, that the devil sinneth from the 
beginning, to mean, that he was a sinner not from the 
beginning of his creation, but from the beginning of sin. 
For sin began in him, and he was the beginning of sin. 
Orig. ORIGEN. There is only one way of standing in the truth; 
torn. xx. man y an d various of not standing in it. Some try to stand 
in the truth, but their feet tremble and shake so, they cannot. 
Others are not come to that pass, but are in danger of it, as 
Pa. 72. we read in the Psalms, My feet were almost gone : others 
fall from it. Because the truth is not in him, is the reason 
why the devil did not stand in the truth. He imagined vain 
things, and deceived himself; wherein He was so far worse 
than others, in that, while others are deceived by him, he was 
the author of his own deception. But farther; does the 
truth is not in him, mean that he holds no true doctrine, 
and that every thing he thinks is false; or that he is not a 
c. 14, 6. member of Christ, who says, / am the truth ? Now it is im 
possible that any rational being should think falsely on every 
subject and never be even ever so slightly right in opinion. 
The devil therefore may hold a true doctrine, by the mere 
law of his rational nature: and therefore his nature is not 
contrary to truth, i. e. does not consist of simple error and 
ignorance; otherwise he could never have known the truth. 
Aug. AUG. Or when our Lord says, The truth is not in him, He 
Civ.Dei intends it as an index: as if we had asked Him, how it 
c. xiv. appeared that the devil stood not in the truth; and He said, 
Because the truth is not in him. For it would be in him, if 
he stood in it. 

When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own : for he is 
Au g- a liar, and the father of it. AUG. Some have thought from 

s. 12, 13. 

VER. 44 47. ST. JOHN. 315 

these words that the devil had a father, and asked who was 
the father of the devil. This is the error of the Manichaeans. 
But our Lord calls the devil the father of a lie for this reason: 
Every one who lies is not the father of his own lie; for you 
may tell a lie, which you have received from another; in which 
case you have lied, but are not the father of the lie. But the 
lie wherewith, as with a serpent's bite, the devil slew man, 
had no source but himself: and therefore he is the father of 
a lie, as God is the Father of the truth. THEOPHYL. For he 
accused God to man, saying to Eve, But of envy He hath 
forbidden you the tree: and to God he accused man, as in 
Job, Doth Job serve God for nought? ORIGEN. Note how-j bi,9. 
ever; this word, liar, is applied to man, as well as to the^ g ^ x 
devil, who begat a lie, as we read in the Psalm, All men are 23. 
liars. If a man is not a liar, he is not an ordinary man, 
but one of those, to whom it is said, / have said, Ye arePs.81. 
Gods. When a man speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his 
own; but the Holy Spirit speaketh the word of truth and 
wisdom; as he said below, He shall receive of Mine, and c. 16, 15. 
shall shew it unto you. AUG. Or thus: The devil is 
a singular, but a common name. In whomsoever the works NovTet 
of the devil are found, he is to be called the devil. It is the Vet - 

Test 2 

name of a work, not of a nature. Here then our Lord means 90. 
by the father of the Jews, Cain; whom they wished to imi 
tate, by killing the Saviour: for he it was who set the first 
example of murdering a brother. That he spoke a lie of 
his own, means that no one sins but by his own will. And 
inasmuch as Cain imitated the devil, and followed his works, 
the devil is said to be his father. ALCUIN. Our Lord being 
the truth, and the Son of the true God, spoke the truth; but 
the Jews, being the sons of the devil, were averse to the truth ; 
and this is why our Lord says, Because I tell you the truth, 
ye believe not. ORIGEN. But how is this said to the Jews Orig. 
who believed on Him ? Consider: a man may believe in one* om-xx ' 
sense, not believe in another; e. g. that our Lord was cru 
cified by Pontius Pilate, but not that He was born of the 
Virgin Mary. In this same way, those whom He is speaking 
to, believed in Him as a worker of miracles, which they saw 
Him to be; but did not believe in His doctrines, which were 
too deep for them. CHRYS. Ye wish to kill Me then, be- Hom'iiv 

s. 3.' 


cause ye are enemies of the truth, not that ye have any fault to 
find in Me: for, winch of you convinceth Me of sin? * THE- 
OPHYL. As if to say: If ye are the sons of God, ye ought to 
hold sinners in hatred. If ye hate Me, when ye cannot con 
vince Me of sin, it is evident that ye hate Me because of the 
Orig. truth: i. e. because I said I was the Son of God. ORIGEN. 
' I j' ^' A bold speech this; which none could have had the con- 
s. 25. fidence to utter, but he Who did no sin; even our Lord. 
Greg. GREG. Observe here the condescension of God. He who 
xvHi! in ^ v virtue of His Divinity could justify sinners, deigns to 
Evang. shew from reason, that He is not a sinner. It follows: He 
that is of God heareth God's words; ye there/ore hear them 
Aug. not, because ye are not of God. AUG, Apply this not to 
16 r .' * "'their nature, but to their faults. They both are from God, 
and are not from God at the same time; their nature is from 
God, their fault is not from God. This was spoken too to 
those, who were not only faulty, by reason of sin, in the way 
in which all are: but who it was foreknown would never 
possess such faith as would free them from the bonds of sin. 
Greg. GREG. Let him then, who would understand God's words, 
ask himself whether he hears them with the ears of his heart. 
For there are some who do not deign to hear God's com 
mands even with their bodily ears; and there are others who 
do this, but do not embrace them with their heart's desire ; 
and there are others again who receive God's words readily, 
yea and are touched, even to tears: but who afterwards go 
back to their sins again ; and therefore cannot be said to 
hear the word of God, because they neglect to practise it. 

48. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, 
Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast 
a devil? 

49. Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I 
honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. 

50. And I seek not mine own glory;, there is one 
that seeketh and judge th. 

51. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my 
saying, he shall never see death. 

VKR, 48 51. ST. JOHN. 317 

CHRYS. Whenever our Lord said any thing of lofty mean- Chrys. 
ing, the Jews in their insensibility set it down madness : } 
Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, Say we not 
well that Thou art a Samaritan, and liast a devil? ORIGEN. OHg. 
But how, we may ask, when the Samaritans denied a future 2 s. 
life, and the immortality of the soul, could they dare to call 
our Saviour, Who had preached so much on the resurrection 
and the judgment, a Samaritan ? Perhaps they only mean 
a general rebuke to Him for teaching, what they did not ap 
prove of. ALCUIN. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews; 
they lived in the land that formerly belonged to the ten 
tribes, who had been carried away. ORIGEN. It is not un-Orig. 
likely too, some may have thought that He held the Sama-gg" 1 '**' 
ritan opinion of there being no future state really, and only 
put forth the doctrine of a resurrection and eternal life, in 
order gain to the favour of the Jews. They said that He had 
a devil, because His discourses were above human capacity, 
those, viz. in which He asserted that God was His Father, 
and that He had come down from heaven, and others of a 
like kind : or perhaps from a suspicion, which many had, 
that He cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. 
THEOPHYL. Or they called Him a Samaritan, because He 
transgressed the Hebrew ordinances, as that of the sabbath: 
the Samaritans not being correct observers of the law. And 
they suspected Him of having a devil, because He could 
disclose what was in their thoughts. When it was that 
they called Him a Samaritan, the Evangelist no where says: 
a proof that the Evangelists left out many things. GREG. Greg. 
See; when God suffers a wrong, He does not reply reproach- xvii j' in 
fully : Jesus answered, I hare not a devil. An intimation this Eva g- 
to us, that when reproached by our neighbours falsely, we 
should not retort upon them by bringing forward their evil 
deeds, however true such charges might be; lest the vehicle 
of a just rebuke turn into a weapon of rage. CHRYS. Chrys. 
And observe, when He had to teach them, and pull down i. 
their pride, He used roughness; but now that He has to 
suffer rebuke, He treats them with the utmost mildness: a 
lesson to us to be severe in what concerns God, but careless 
of ourselves. AUG. And to imitate His patience first, ifAug-. 
we would attain to His power. But though being reviled, t . '2. 


He reviled not again, it. was incumbent on Him to deny the 
charge. Two charges had been made against Him : Thou art a 
Samaritan, and hast a devil. In reply He does not say, / 
am not a Samaritan : for Samaritan means keeper ; and He 
knew He was a keeper: He could not redeem us, with 
out at the same time preserving us. Lastly, He is the 
Samaritan, who went up to the wounded, and had compassion 
Orig. on him. ORIGEN. Our Lord, even more than Paul, wished 
*^g XX 'to become all things to all men, that He might gain some: 
s> 29 and therefore He did not deny being a Samaritan. / have 
not a devil, is what Jesus alone can say ; as He alone can 
c.14,30 say, The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in 
Me. None of us are quite free from having a devil. For 
Au g-... even lesser faults come from him. AUG. Then after being 
3. so reviled, all that He says to vindicate His glory, is, But I 
honour My Father : as if to say, That you may not think Me 
arrogant, I tell you, I have One, Whom I honour. THEOPHYL. 
He honoured the Father, by revenging Him, and not suffer 
ing murderers or liars to call themselves the true sons of 
Orig. God. ORIGEN. Christ alone honoured the Father perfectly, 
^mn. x. j Q Qne ^ w ^ o honours any thing which is not honoured by 
Greg. God, honours God. GREG. As all who have zeal toward 
xli^'s *d are liable to meet with dishonour from wicked men, 
our Lord has Himself set us an example of patience under 
ug ' r . this trial; And ye do dishonour Me. AUG. As if to say, I 
3. do my duty: ye do not do yours. ORIGEN. And this was 
^m g 'xx not addressed to them only, but to all who by unrighteous 
29. deeds inflict injury upon Christ, who is righteousness; or by 
scoffing at wisdom wrong Him who is wisdom : and the like, 
utsup. GRE G> How we are to take injuries, He shews us by His 
own example, when He adds, / seek not Mine own glory, 
Chrys. there is one that seeketh and judgeth. CHRYS. As if to say, 
lv. i. I have told you this h on account of the honour which 1 have 
for My Father; and for this ye dishonour Me. But I con 
cern not myself for your reviling: ye are accountable to 
Orig. Him, for whose sake I undergo it. ORIGEN. God seeks 
8 XX ' Christ's glory, in every one of those who receive Him : 
which glory He finds in those who cultivate the seeds of 
virtue implanted in them. And those in whom He finds 
h i. e. that they had no right to call God their Father. 

VER. 47 5]. ST. JOHN. 319 

not His Son's glory, He punishes : There is one that seeketh 
and judgeth. AUG. Meaning of course the Father. But Aug. 
how is it then that He says in another place, The Father ^' 
judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the c. 5, 22. 
Son. Judgment is sometimes put for condemnation, whereas 
here it only stands for trial: as if to say, There is one, even 
My Father, who distinguishes My glory from yours; ye 
glory after this world, I not after this world. The Father 
distinguishes the glory of the Son, from that of all men : for 
that He has been made man, does not bring us to a com 
parison with Him. We men have sin : He was without sin, 
even when He was in the form of a servant; for, as the 
Word which was in the beginning, who can speak worthily 
of Him ? ORIGEN. Or thus ; If that is true which our Saviour Orig. 
says below, All men are thine, it is manifest that the judg-g 1 m ' xx ' 
ment itself of the Son, is the Father's. GREG. As the per- (Nic.) 
versity of the wicked increases, preaching so far from giving Greg. 

way, ought even to become more active. Thus our Lord, Hom - 

xviii. in 
after He had been accused of having a devil, imparts theEvang. 

treasures of preaching in a still larger degree : Verily ', verily, 
I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never 
see death. AUG. See is put for experience. But since, Aug. 
about to die Himself, He spoke with those about to die, J^'* 1 " 1 ' 
what means this, If a man keep My saying, he shall never 
see death? What, but that He saw another death from which 
He came to free us, death eternal, the death of the damned, 
which is shared with the devil and his angels ! That is the 
true death : the other is a passage only. ORIGEN. We must Orig. 
understand Him, as it were, to say, If a man keep My light, gi* x * 
he shall not see darkness for ever \for ever being taken as com 
mon to both clauses, as if the sentence were, If a man keep My 
saying for ever, He shall not see death for ever : meaning 
that a man does not see death, so long as he keeps Christ's 
word. But when a man, by becoming sluggish in the 
observance of His words, and negligent in the keeping of 
his own heart, ceases to keep them, he then sees death; he 
brings it upon himself. Thus taught then by our Saviour, 
to the prophet who asks, What man is he that liveth, andPs. 88. 
shall not see death ? we are able to answer, He who keepeth chrys. 
Christ's word. CHRYS. He says, keep, i. e. not by faith, but H om. 


by purity of life. And at the same time too He means it as a 
tacit intimation that they can do nothing to Him. For if 
whoever keepeth His word, shall never die, much less is it 
possible that He Himself should die. 

52. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know 
that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the 
prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, 
he shall never taste of death. 

53. 'Art thou greater than our father Abraham, 
which is dead? and the prophets are dead; whom 
makest thou thyself? 

54. Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour 
is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me; of 
whom ye say, that he is your God : 

55. Yet ye have not known him ; but I know him : 
and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar 
like unto you : but I know him, and keep his saying. 

56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day : 
and he saw it, and was glad. 

ut sup. GREG. As it is necessary that the good should grow better 

by contumely, so are the reprobate made worse by kindness. 

On hearing our Lord's words, the Jews again blaspheme : 

Then said the Jews unto Him, Now we know Thou hast a 

Orig. devil, ORICEN. Those who believe the Holy Scriptures, 

32 m '33 X * un derstand that what men do contrary to right reason, is not 

done without the operation of devils. Thus the Jews thought 

that Jesus had spoken by the influence of the devil, when 

He said, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death. 

And this idea they laboured under, because they did not know 

the power of God. For here He was speaking of that death 

l x t t of enmity to reason, by which sinners perish : whereas they 

*-'vv understand Him of that death which is common to all ; and 

therefore blame Him for so speaking, when it was certain 

that Abraham and the Prophets were dead: Abraham is 

dead, and the Prophets; and Thou sayest, If a man keep My 

saying, he shall never. taste of death. Shall never taste of 

VER. 52 56. ST. JOHN'. 321 

death, they say, instead of, shall not see death ; though 
between tasting and seeing death there is a difference. Like 
careless hearers, they mistake what our Lord said. For 
as our Lord, in that He is the true bread, is good to taste ; 
in that He is wisdom, is beautiful to behold ; in like manner 
His adversary death is both to be tasted and seen. When 
then a man stands by Christ's help in the spiritual place ** 
pointed out to him, he shall not taste of death if he preserves ^<-> 
that state: according to Matthew, There te those standing"* 
HERE, which shall not taste of death. But when a man hears Mat. 16, 
Christ's words and keeps them, he shall not see death. 
CHRYS. Again, they have recourse to the vainglorious Chrys. 
argument of their descent: Art Thou greater than our\ v ,\' 
father Abraham, which is dead? They might have said, 
Art Thou greater than God, whose words they are dead who 
heard? But they do not say this, because they thought Him 
inferior even to Abraham. ORIGEN. For they do not seeOrig. 
that not Abraham only, but every one born of woman, is less 33' 
than He who was born of a Virgin. Now were the Jews 
right in saying that Abraham was dead ? for he heard the 
word of Christ, and kept it, as did also the Prophets, who, 
they say, were dead. For they kept the word of the Son of 
God, when the word of the Lord came to Hosea, Isaiah, or 
Jeremiah ; if any one else kept the word, surely those 
Prophets did. They utter a lie then when they say, We 
know that Thou hast a devil; and when they say, Abraham 
is dead, and the Prophets. GREG. For being given over tout sup. 
eternal death, which death they saw not, and thinking only, as 
they did, of the death of the body, their minds were darkened, 
even while the Truth Himself was speaking. They add : 
Whom makest Thou Thyself? THEOPHYL. As if to say, Thou 
a person of no account, a carpenter's son of Galilee, to take 
glory to Thyself ! BEDE. Whom makest Thou Thyself ? i.e. 
Of what merit, of what dignity wouldest Thou be accounted ? 
Nevertheless, Abraham only died in the body; his soul 
lived. And the death of the soul which is to live for ever, 
is greater than the death of the body that must die some 
time. ORIGEN. This was the speech of persons spiritually orig. 
blind. For Jesus did not make Himself what He was, but* om - xx> 
received it from the Father : Jesus answered and said, If 1 


Chrys. honour Myself, My honour is nothing. CHRYS. This is to 
j iv j' 2. answer their suspicions; as above, If I bear witness of My- 
c - 6 - self, My witness is not true. BEDE. He shews in these 
Aug. words that the glory of this present life is nothing. AUG. 
1 4 -x "'This is to answer those who said, Whom makest Thou Thy 
self? He refers His glory to the Father, from Whom He is : 
It is My Father that honoureth Me. The Arians take occa 
sion from those words to calumniate our faith, and say, Lo, 
the Father is greater, for He glorifieth the Son. Heretics, 
have ye not read that the Son also glorifieth the Father ? 
ALCUIN. The Father glorified the Son, at His baptism, on 
the mount, at the time of His passion, when a voice came to 
Him, in the midst of the crowd, when He raised Him up 
again after His passion, and placed Him at the right 
Chrys. hand of His Majesty. CHRYS. He adds, Of whom ye say 
Iv. ^! that He is your God; meaning to tell them that they were 
not only ignorant of the Father, but even of God. THE- 
OPHYL. For had they known the Father really, they would 
have reverenced the Son. But they even despise God, who 
in the Law forbad murder, by their clamours against Christ. 
Wherefore He says, Ye have not known Him. ALCUIN. As 
if to say, Ye call Him your God, after a carnal manner, 
serving Him for temporal rewards. Ye have not known 
Him, as He should be known ; ye are not able to serve Him 
Aug. spiritually. AUG. Some heretics say that the God pro- 
is.' x '"'claimed in the Old Testament is not the Father of Christ, 
but a kind of prince of bad angels. These He contradicts 
when He calls Him His Father, whom the Jews called their 
God, and knew not. For had they known Him, they would 
have received His Son. Of Himself however He adds, But 
I know Him. And here too, to men judging after the 
flesh, He might appear arrogant. But let not arrogance be 
so guarded against, as that truth be deserted. Therefore 
our Lord says, And if I should say I know Him not, I 
Chrys. should be a liar like unto you. CHRYS. As if to say, As ye, 
Horn, saying that ye know Him, lie ; so were I a liar, did I say I 
knew Him not. It follows, however, (which is the greatest 
proof of all that He was sent from God,) But I know Him. 
THEOPHYL. Having that knowledge by nature; for as I am, 
so is the Father also ; I know Myself, and therefore I know 

VER. 52 56. ST. JOHN. 323 

Him. And He gives the proof that He knows Him : And I 
keep His saying, i. e. His commandments. Some under 
stand, / keep His saying, to mean, I keep the nature of 
His substance unchanged; for the substance of the Father 
and the Son is the same, as their nature is the same; and 
therefore I know the Father. And here has the force of 
because: / know Him because I keep His saying. AUG. Aug. 
He spoke the saying of the Father too, as being the Son ; ^' xhl1 ' 
and He was Himself that Word of the Father, which He 
spoke to men. CHRYS. In answer then to their question, Chrys. 
Art Thou greater than our father Abraham, He shews them lv ' 
that He is greater than Abraham ; Your father Abraham 
rejoiced to see My day: he saw it, and was glad; he must 
have rejoiced, because My day would benefit him, which is 
to acknowledge Me greater than himself. THEOPHYL. As if 
to say, He regarded My day, as a day to be desired, and 
full of joy ; not as if I was an unimportant or common person. 
AUG. He did not fear, but rejoiced to see: he rejoiced in Aug. 
hope, believing, and so by faith saw. It admits of doubt * xMH " 
whether He is speaking here of the temporal day of the 
Lord, that, viz. of His coming in the flesh, or of that day 
which knows neither rising or setting. I doubt not however 
that our father Abraham knew the whole : as he says to his 
servant whom he sent, Put thy hand under my thigh, and Gen. 24, 
swear to me by the God of heaven. What did that oath 
signify, but that the God of heaven was to come in the flesh, 
out of the stock of Abraham. GREG. Abraham saw the day Greg. 
of the Lord even then, when he entertained the three Angels, xv 01 ]^ 
a figure of the Trinity. CHRYS. They are aliens from Ev ang. 
Abraham if they grieve over what he rejoiced in. By this^r 8 - 
day perhaps He means the day of the cross, which Abraham liv. 2. 
prefigured by the offering up of Isaac and the ram : inti 
mating hereby that He did not come to His passion un 
willingly. AUG. If they rejoiced to whom the Word appeared Aug. 
in the flesh, what was his joy, who beheld in spiritual vision jg' x m " 
the light ineffable, the abiding Word, the bright illumination 
of pious souls, the indefectible wisdom, still abiding with 
God the Father, and sometime to come in the flesh, but not 
to leave the Father's bosom. 

Y 2 


57. Then said the Jews unto him. Thou art not yet 
fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham ? 

fi8. Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto 
you, Before Abraham was, I am. 

59. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but 
Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going 
through the midst of them, and so passed by. 

GREG. The carnal minds of the Jews are intent on the 


xviii. in flesh only; they think only of His age in the flesh: Then 

ang ' said the Jews unto Him, Thou art not Jiffy years old, and 
hast Thou seen Abraham ? that is to say, Many ages have 
passed since Abraham died ; and how then could he see thy 
day? For they took His words in a carnal sense. THE- 
OPHYL. Christ was then thirty-three years old. Why then 
do they not say, Thou art not yet forty years old, instead of 
fifty ' A needless question this : they simply spoke as 
chance led them at the time. Some however say that they 
mentioned the fiftieth year on account of its sacred character, 
as being the year of jubilee, in which they redeemed their 
captives, and gave up the possessions they had bought. 

ut sup. GREG. Our Saviour mildly draws them away from their carnal 
view, to the contemplation of His Divinity; Jesus said unto 
them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham wax, I 
am. Before is a particle of past time, am, of present. 
Divinity has no past or future, but always the present; and 
therefore He does not say, Before Abraham was, I was: but, 

Exod.3, Before Abraham was, I am: as it is in Exodus, / am 
that I am. Before and after might be said of Abraham 
with reference to different periods of his life ; to be, in the 
present, is said of the truth only. 

Aug. AUG. Abraham being a creature, He did not say before 

18.' ' Abraham was, but, before Abraham was made. Nor does 
He say, I am made; because that, in the beginning WAS -the 

ut s\ip. Word. GREG. Their unbelieving minds, however, were 
unable to support these indications of eternity; and not un 
derstanding Him, sought to destroy Him : Then they look up 

Aug. stones to cast at Him. AUG. Such hardness of heart, 
' whither was it to run, but to its truest likeness, even the 

VER. 57 59. ST. JOHN. 325 

stones ? But now that He had done all that He could do 
as a teacher, and they in return wished to stone Him, since 
they could not bear correction, He leaves them: Jesus hid 
Himself, and went out of the temple. He did not hide 
Himself in a corner of the temple, as if He was afraid, or 
take refuge in a house, or run behind a wall, or a pillar ; but 
by His heavenly power, making Himself invisible to His 
enemies, went through the midst of them: Jesus hid Him 
self, and went out of the temple. GREG. Who, had He 
chosen to exert the power of His Divinity, could, without 
a word, by His mere nod, have seized them, with the very 
stones in their hands, and delivered them to immediate 
death. But He who came to suffer, was slow to execute 
judgment. AUG. For His part was more to exhibit patience Aug. 
than exercise power. ALCUIN. He fled, because His hour lg r ' x m ' 
was not yet come; and because He had not chosen this 
kind of death. AUG. So then, as a man, He flies from the Aug. 
stones; but woe to them, from whose stony hearts God flies. Tr.xlm. 
BEDE. Mystically, a man throws a stone at Jesus, as often as 
he harbours an evil thought ; and if he follows it up, so far 
as lies in him, he kills Jesus. GREG. What does our Lord u t sup. 
mean by hiding Himself, but that the truth is hidden to 
them, who despise His words. The truth flies the company 
of an unhumbled soul. His example shews us, that we should 
in all humility rather retreat from the wrath of the proud, 
when it rises, than resist it, even though we might be able. 


1. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which 
was blind from his birth. 

2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, 
who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born 

3. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, 
nor his parents : but that the works of God should be 
made manifest in him. 

4. I must work the works of him that sent me, 
while it is day : the night cometh, when no man can 

5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of 
the world. 

6. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, 
and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes 
of the blind man with the clay, 

7. And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of 
Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went 
his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 

Chrys. CHRYS. The Jews having rejected Christ's words, because 
f their depth, He went out of the temple, and healed the 
blind man; that His absence might appease their fury, and 
the miracle soften their hard hearts, and convince their 
unbelief. And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was 
blind from, his birth. It is to be remarked here that, on 
going out of the temple, He betook Himself intently to this 
manifestation of His power. He first saw the blind man, 
not the blind man Him: and so intently did He fix His eye 
upon him, that His disciples were struck, and asked, Rabbi, 


who did sin, this man or his parents, that he ivas born 
blind? BEDE. Mystically, our Lord, after being banished 
from the minds of the Jews, passed over to the Gentiles. 
The passage or journey here is His descent from heaven tononocc. 
earth, where He saw the blind man, i. e. looked with com 
passion on the human race. AUG. For the blind man here Aug. 
is the human race. Blindness came upon the first man by j r ' 2 * ' 
reason of sin: and from him we all derive it: i. e. man is 
blind from his birth. AUG. Rabbi is Master. They call Aug. 
Him Master, because they wished to learn: they put their j ^ 
question to our Lord, as to a Master. THEOPHYL. This 
question does not seem a proper one. For the Apostles had 
not been taught the fond notion of the Gentiles, that the 
soul has sinned in a previous state of existence. It is difficult 
to account for their putting it. CHRYS. They were led to ask Chrys. 
this question, by our Lord ha?ing said above, on healing theii v . i, 
man sick of the palsy, Lo, thou art made whole; sin no more. - 5 " 
Thinking from this that the man had been struck with the 
palsy for his sins, they ask our Lord of the blind man here, 
whether he did sin, or his parents; neither of which could 
have been the reason of his blindness; the former, because 
he had been blind from his birth; the latter, because the 
son does not suffer for the father. 

Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his 
parents. AUG. Was he then born without original sin, or Aug. 
had he never added to it by actual sin? Both this man and x ji v .3. 
his parents had sinned, but that sin was not the reason why 
he was born blind. Our Lord gives the reason ; viz. That 
the works of God should be made manifest in him. CHRYS. Chrys. 
He is not to be understood as meaning that others 7*arf lvi ' 2 . 
become blind, in consequence of their parents' sins : for one 
man cannot be punished for the sin of another. But had 
the man therefore suffered unjustly ? Rather I should say 
that that blindness was a benefit to him : for by it he was 
brought to see with the inward eye. At any rate He who 
brought him into being out of nothing, had the power to make 
him in the event no loser by it. Some too say, that the 
that here, is expressive not of the cause, but of the event, as 
in the passage in Romans, The law entered that sin might Rom. 5, 
abound; the effect in this case being, that our Lord by 20 ' 


opening the closed eye, and healing other natural infirmities, 
Greg, demonstrated His own power. GREG. One stroke falls on 
Moral. tne sinner, for punishment only, not conversion ; another for 
e. 5. correction ; another not for correction of past sins, but pre 
vention of future ; another neither for correcting past, nor 
preventing future sins, but by the unexpected deliverance 
following the blow, to excite more ardent love of the Saviour's 
Chrys. goodness. CHRYS. That the glory of God should be made 
manifest, He saith of Himself, not of the Father; the 
Father's glory was manifest already. / must work the works 
of Him that sent Me: i. e. I must manifest Myself, and 
shew that I do the same that My Father doeth. BEDE. For 
when the Son declared that He worked the works of the 
Father, He proved that His and His Father's works were the 
same: which are, to heal the sick, to strengthen the weak, 
. and enlighten man. AUG. By His saying, Who sent Me, 

4. He gives all the glory to Him from Whom He is. The 
Father hath a Son Who is from Him, but hath none from 

Chrys. vvhom He Himself is. CHRYS. While it is day, He adds; 

Ivi. 2. i- e. while men have the opportunity of believing in Me ; 
while this life lasts; The night cometh, when none can work. 

Mat. 22, Night here means that spoken of in Matthew, Cast him into 
outer darkness. Then will there be night, wherein none can 
work, but only receive for that which he has worked. While 
thou livest, do that which thou wilt do: for beyond it is 

Au - neither faith, nor labour, nor repentance. AUG. But if we work 

Tr xliv. .... f^-, TT 

5. now, now is the day time, now is Christ present; as He 
says, As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the 
world. This then is the day. The natural day is completed 
by the circuit of the sun, and contains only a few hours: 
the day of Christ's presence will last to the end of the world: 

Mat. 28, for He Himself has said, Lo, lam with you alway, even unto 

Chrys. the end of the world. CHRYS. He then confirms His words 

Horn, by deeds : When He had thus spoken, He spat on the ground, 

and made clay of the spittle, and anointed the eyes of the blind 

man with the clay. He who had brought greater substances 

into being out of nothing, could much more have given sight 

without the use of any material: but He wished to shew 

that He was the Creator, Who in the beginning used clay for 

Horn. th e formation of man. He makes the clay with spittle, and 

Ivii. 1. 

VEIL 1 7. ST. JOHN. 329 

not with water, to make it evident that it was not the pool of 
Siloam, whither He was about to send him, but the virtue 
proceeding from His mouth, which restored the man's 
sight. And then, that the cure might not seem to be the 
effect of the clay, He ordered the man to wash: And He 
said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. The 
Evangelist gives the meaning of Siloam, which is by inter 
pretation, Sent, to intimate that it was Christ's power that 
cured him even there. As the Apostle says of the rock in 
the wilderness, that that Rock was Christ, so Siloam had a 1 Cor. 
spiritual character: the sudden rise of its water being a ' ' 
silent figure of Christ's unexpected manifestation in the flesh. 
But why did He not tell him to wash immediately, instead 
of sending him to Siloam? That the obstinacy of the Jews 
might be overcome, when they saw him going there with the 
clay on his eyes. Besides which, it proved that He was 
not averse to the Law, and the Old Testament. And there 
was no fear of the glory of the case being given to Siloam : 
as many had washed their eyes there, and received no such 
benefit. And to shew the faith of the blind man, who 
made no opposition, never argued with himself, that it was 
the quality of clay rather to darken, than give light, that He 
had often washed in Siloam, and had never been benefited ; 
that if our Lord had the power, He might have cured him by 
His word ; but simply obeyed : he went his way therefore, 
and washed, and came seeing. Thus our Lord manifested Horn. 
His glory : and no small glory it was, to be proved the Creator lvi - 2> 
of the world, as He was proved to be by this miracle. For 
on the principle that the greater contains the less, this act of 
creation included in it every other. Man is the most honour 
able of all creatures ; the eye the most honourable member of 
man, directing the movements, and giving him sight. The eye 
is to the body, what the sun is to the universe ; and therefore 
it is placed aloft, as it were, upon a royal eminence. THE- 
OPHYL. Some think that the clay was not laid upon the eyes, 
but made into eyes. AUG. Our Lord spat upon the ground, Aug. 
and made clay of the spittle, because He was the Word made Tr< xlv ' 
flesh. The man did not see immediately as he was anointed; *" 
i. c. was, as it were, only made a catechumen. But he was 


sent to the pool which is called Siloain, i. e. he was baptized 
in Christ; and then he was enlightened. The Evangelist 
then explains to us the name of this pool : which is by inter 
pretation, Sent: for, if He had not been sent, none of us 
Greg, would have been delivered from our sins. GREG. Or thus : 
Moral. By His spittle understand the savour of inward contempla- 
<; *xx- tion. It runs down from the head into the mouth, and gives 
us the taste of revelation from the Divine splendour even in 
this life. The mixture of His spittle with clay is the mix 
ture of supernatural grace, even the contemplation of Him 
self with our carnal knowledge, to the soul's enlightenment, 
and restoration of the human understanding from its original 

8. The neighbours therefore, and they which before 
had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he 
that sat and begged ? 

9. Some said, This is he : others said, He is like 
him: but he said, I am he. 

10. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine 
eyes opened? 

11. He answered and said, A man that is called 
Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said 
unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I 
went and washed, and I received sight. 

12. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He 
said, I know not. 

13. They brought to the Pharisees him that afore 
time was blind. 

14. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made 
the clay, and opened his eyes. 

15. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how 
he had received his sight. He said unto them, He 
put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. 

16. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This 
man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath 

VER. 8 17. ST. JOHN. 331 

day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner 
do such miracles? And there was a division among 

17. They say unto the blind man again, What 
sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? 
He said, He is a prophet. 

CHRYS. The suddenness of the miracle made men incre- Chrys. 
dulous : The neighbours therefore, and they which had seen ^* 
him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and 
begged? Wonderful clemency and condescension of God ! 
Even the beggars He heals with so great considerateness : 
thus stopping the mouths of the Jews ; in that He made not 
the great, illustrious, and noble, but the poorest and meanest, 
the objects of His providence. Indeed He had come for 
the salvation of all. Some said, This is he. The blind man 
having been clearly recognised in the course of his long walk 
to the pool ; the more so, as people's attention was drawn by 
the strangeness of the event; men could no longer say, 
This is not he; Others said, Nay, but he is like him. AUG. Aug. 
His eyes being opened had altered his look. But he said,^' 
I am he. He spoke gratefully ; a denial would have convicted 
Him of ingratitude. CHRYS. He was not ashamed of hischrys. 
former blindness, nor afraid of the fury of the people, nor H m - 
averse to she w himself, and proclaim his Benefactor. Therefore 
said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? How they 
were, neither lie nor any one knew : he only knew the fact ; he 
could not explain it. He answered and said, A man that is 
called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes. Mark his 
exactness. He does not say how the clay was made ; for he 
could not see that our Lord spat on the ground ; he does not say 
what he does not know; but that He anointed him he could feel. 
And said unto me, Go to the pool ofSiloam, and wash. This 
too he could declare from his own hearing ; for he had heard 
our Lord converse with His disciples, and so knew His 
voice. Lastly, he shews how strictly he had obeyed our 
Lord. He adds, And I went, and washed, and received 
sight. AUG. Lo, he is become a proclaimer of grace, an Aug. 
evangelist, and testifies to the Jews. That blind man testi- s . g. 


fied, and the ungodly were vexed at the heart, because they 
had not in their heart what appeared upon his countenance. 
Chrys. Then said they unto him. Where is He? CHRYS. This they 
Ivii. 2. said, because they were meditating His death, having already 
begun to conspire against Him. Christ did not appear in 
company with those whom He cured ; having no desire for 
glory, or display. He always withdrew, after healing any 
one; in order that no suspicion might attach to the miracle. 
His withdrawal proved the absence of all connexion between 
Him and the healed; and therefore that the latter did not 
publish a false cure out of favour to Him. He said, I know 
Aug. not. AUG. Here he is like one anointed, but unable yet to 
8 r '* lv 'see: he preaches, and knows not what he preaches. BEDE. 
Thus he represents the state of the catechumen, who believes 
in Jesus, but does not, strictly speaking, know Him, not being 
yet washed. It fell to the Pharisees to confirm or deny the 
Chrys. miracle. CHRYS. The Jews, whom they asked, Where is He? 
Ivii. 2. were desirous of finding Him, in order to bring Him to the 
Pharisees ; but, as they could not find Him, they bring the 
blind man. They brought to the Pharisees him that afore 
time was blind ; i. e. that they might examine him still more 
closely. The Evangelist adds, And it was the sabbath day 
when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes; in order to 
expose their real design, which was to accuse Him of a 
departure from the law, and thus detract from the miracle : as 
appears from what follows, Then again the Pharisees also asked 
him how he had received his sight. But mark the firmness 
of the blind man. To tell the truth to the multitude before, 
from whom he was in no danger, was not so great a matter : 
but it is remarkable, now that the danger is so much greater, 
to find him disavowing nothing, and not contradicting any 
thing that he said before : He said unto them, He put clay 
upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. He is more 
brief this time, as his interrogators were already informed of 
the matter: not mentioning the name of Jesus, nor His 
saying, Go, and wash ; but simply, He put clay upon mine 
eyes, and I washed, and do see; the very contrary answer to 
what they wanted. They wanted a disavowal, and they 
Aug. receive a confirmation of the story. 
Tr.xliv. Therefore said some of the Pharisees. AUG. Some, not 

VER. 817. ST. JOHN. 

all : for some were already anointed. But they, who neither 
saw, nor were anointed, said, This man is not of God, because 
he kcepeth not the sabbath day. Rather He kept it, in that 
He was without sin ; for to observe the sabbath spiritually, 
is to have no sin. And this God admonishes us of, when 
He enjoins the sabbath, saying, In it t/iou shall do no ser-Exod.20, 
vile work. What servile work is, our Lord tells us above, 10> 
Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. Theyc. 8, 34. 
observed the sabbath carnally, transgressed it spiritually. 
CHRYS. Passing over the miracle in silence, they give all Chrys. 
the prominence they can to the supposed transgression ; i v ji. <j. 
not charging Him with healing on the sabbath, but with 
not keeping the sabbath. Others said, How can a man that 
is a sinner do such miracles? They were impressed by His 
miracles, but only in a weak and unsettled way. For whereas 
such might have shewn them, fhat the sabbath was not broken ; 
they had not yet any idea that He was God, and therefore 
did not know that it was the Lord of the sabbath who had 
worked the miracle. Nor did any of them dare to say openly 
what his sentiments were, but spoke ambiguously ; one, be 
cause he thought the fact itself improbable; another, from his 
love of station. It follows, And there was a division among 
them. That is, the people were divided first, and then the 
rulers. AUG. It was Christ, who divided the day into light Aug. 
and darkness. CHRYS. Those who said, Can a man that i 

a sinner do such miracles ? wishing to stop the others' mouths, Chrys. 
make the object of our Lord's goodness again come forward jiviii. l. 
but without appearing to take part with Him themselves: 
They say unto the blind man again, What saycst thou of 
Him, that He hath opened thine eyes? THEOPHYL. See with 
what good intent they put the question. They do not say, 
What sayest thou of Him that keepeth not the sabbath, but 
mention the miracle, that He hath opened thine eyes; meaning, 
it would seem, to draw out the healed man himself; He hath 
benefited them, they seem to say, and thou oughtest to preach 
Him. AUG. Or they^sought how they could throw reproach Aug. 
upon the man, and cast him out of their synagogue. He J nxhv * 
declares however openly what he thinks: He said, He is a 
Prophet. Not being anointed yet in heart, he could not con 
fess the Sun of God; nevertheless, he is not wrong in what he 


Luke 4, says : for our Lord Himself says of Himself, A prophet is 
not without honour, save in his own country. 

18. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, 
that he had been blind, and received his sight, until 
they called the parents of him that had received his 

19. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, 
who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now 

20. His parents answered them and said, We know 
that this is our son, and that he was born blind : 

21. But by what means he now seeth, we know not; 
or who hath opened his eyes, we know not : he is of 
age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. 

22. These words spake his parents, because they 
feared the Jews : for the Jews had agreed already, that 
if any man did confess that he was Christ, lie should 
be put out of the synagogue. 

23. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask 

Chn-s. CHRYS. The Pharisees being unable, by intimidation, to 
deter the blind man from publicly proclaiming his Bene 
factor, try to nullify the miracle through the parents: But 
the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been 
blind, and received his sight, until they had called the parents 

Aug. of fa m that had received his sight. AUG. i. e. had been 

s. io. 'blind, and now saw. CHRYS. But it is the nature of truth, 

Chrys. to be strengthened by the very snares that are laid against 

iviii. 3. it. A lie is its own antagonist, and by its attempts to injure 

the truth, sets it off to greater advantage : as is the case now. 

For the argument which might otherwise have been urged, 

that the neighbours .knew nothing for certain, but spoke 

from a mere resemblance, is cut off by introduction of the 

parents, who could of course testify to their own son. 

Having brought these before the assembly, they interrogate 

ihem with great sharpness, saying, Is this your son, (they 

VER. 24 34. ST. JOHN. 8:35 

say not, who was born blind, but) who ye say was born blind? 
Say. Why what father is there, that would say such things of 
a son, if they were not true ? Why not say at once, Whom ye 
made blind ? They try two ways of making them deny the 
miracle: by saying, Who ye say was born blind, and by 
adding, How then doth he now see? THEOPHYL. Either, say 
they, it is not true that he now sees, or it is untrue that he 
was blind before: but it is evident that he now sees; therefore 
it is not true that he was born blind. CHRYS. Three things Chrys. 
then being asked, if he were their son, if he had been blind, ^P' 
and how he saw, they acknowledge two of them: His 
parents answered them and said, We know that this is our 
son, and that he was born blind. But the third they refuse 
to speak to : But by what means he now seeth, we know not. 
The enquiry in this way ends in confirming the truth of the 
miracle, by making it rest upon the incontrovertible evidence 
of the confession of the healed person himself; He is of 
age, they say, ask him; he can speak for himself. AUG. As Aug. 
if to say, We might justly be compelled to speak for an infant, jg' x 
that could not speak for itself: but he, though blind from 
his birth, has been always able to speak. CHRYS. What hi y s - 

.,.,.., ,. , Horn, 

sort of gratitude is this in the parents ; concealing what they ivii. 2. 

knew, from fear of the Jews ? as we are next told ; These 
words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews. And 
then the Evangelist mentions again what the intentions and 
dispositions of the Jews were : For the Jews had agreed 
already, that if any man did confess that He ivas Christ, he 
should be put out of the synagogue. AUG. It was no disad-^ u s- 
vantage to be put out of the synagogue : whom they cast out, 10. 
Christ took in. 

Therefore said Itis parents, He is of age, ask him. ALCUIN. 
The Evangelist shews that it was not from ignorance, but 
fear, that they gave this answer. THEOPHYL. For they were 
fainthearted; not like their son, that intrepid witness 
to the truth, the eyes of whose understanding had been 
enlightened by God. 

24. Then again called they the man that was blind, 
and said unto him, Give God the praise : we know that 
this man is a sinner. 


25. He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner 
or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I 
was blind, now I see. 

26. Then said they to him again, What did he to 
thee? how opened he thine eyes? 

27. He answered them, I have told you already, and 
ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? 
will ye also be his disciples? 

28. Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his 
disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. 

29. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for 
this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 

30. The man answered and said unto them, Why 
herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from 
whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. 

31. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: 
but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his 
will, him he heareth. 

32. Since the world began was it not heard that any 
man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. 

33. If this man were not of God, he could do 

34. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast 
altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And 
they cast him out. 

Chrys. CHRYS. The parents having referred the Pharisees to the 
Hom. healed man himself, they summon him a second time: 

Iviii. 2. 

Then again called they the man that was blind. They do 

not openly say now, Deny that Christ has healed thee, but 

conceal their object under the pretence of religion: Give 

God the praise, i. e. confess that this man has had nothing 

Aug. to do with the work. AUG. Deny that thou hast received 

Tr.xhv. ^ e benefit. This is not to give God the glory, but rather to 

blaspheme Him. ALCUIN. They wished him to give glory 

to God, by calling Christ a sinner, as they did: We know 

Chrys. that this man is a sinner. CHRYS. Why then did ye not 


Iviii. ( z. 

.VER. 2434. ST. JOHN. 337 

convict Him, when He said above, Which of you conmncethc.S,46. 
Me of sin? ALCUIN. The man, that he might neither expose 
himself to calumny, nor at the same time conceal the truth, 
answers not that he knew Him to be righteous, but, Whether 
fie be a sinner or no, I know not. CHRYS. But how comes Chrys. 
this, whether He be a sinner, I know not, from one who had ivijj. 2. 
said, He is a Prophet? Did the blind fear? far from it: he 
only thought that our Lord's defence lay in the witness of 
the fact, more than in another's pleading. And he gives 
weight to his reply by the mention of the benefit he had 
received: One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now 
I see: as if to say, I say nothing as to whether He is a sin 
ner; but only repeat what I know for certain. So being 
unable to overturn the fact itself of the miracle, they fall 
back upon former arguments, and enquire the manner of the 
cure: just as dogs in hunting pursue wherever the scent 
takes them: Then said they to him again, What did He do to 
thee? How opened He thine eyes? i. e. was it by any charm ? 
For they do not say, How didst thou see ? but, How opened 
He thine eyes? to give the man an opportunity of detracting 
from the operation. So long now as the matter wanted ex 
amining, the blind man answers gently and quietly; but, the 
victory being gained, he grows bolder: He answered them, 
I have told you already, and ye did not hear: whertfore 
would ye hear it again? i. e. Ye do not attend to what is 
said, and therefore I will no longer answer you vain ques 
tions, put for the sake of cavil, not to gain knowledge: Will ye 
also he His disciples? AUG. Will ye also? i. e. I am already, Aug. 
do ye wish to be ? I see now, but do not envy. He says J r f f llv ' 
this in indignation at the obstinacy of the Jews; not tole- video, 
rating blindness, now that he is no longer blind himself, j^deo. 
CHRYS. As then truth is strength, so falsehood is weakness: Chrys. 
truth elevates and ennobles whomever it takes up, however ^j^ 
mean before: falsehood brings even the strong to weakness 
and contempt. 

Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art His disciple. Aug. 
AUG. A malediction only in the intention of the speakers, ^ 2 r ' xllv * 
not in the words themselves. May such a malediction be *$'- 
upon us, and upon our children! Tt follows: But we are^dl'- 
Moses 1 disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses. But dixe - 

7. Vul g 


ye should have known, that our Lord was prophesied of 

c. 5, 46. by Moses, after hearing what He said, Had ye believed Moses, 

ye would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. Do ye 

follow then a servant, and turn your back on the Lord ? 

Even so, for it follows: As for this fellow, we know not 

Cbrys. whence He is. CHRYS. Ye think sight less evidence than 

Iviii. s.3. hearing; for what ye say, ye know, is what ye have heard 

from your fathers. But is not He more worthy of belief, who 

has certified that He comes from God, by miracles which ye 

have not heard only, but seen? So argues the blind man : 

The man answered and said, Why herein is a marvellous 

thing, that ye know not whence He is, and yet He hatlt 

opened mine eyes. He brings in the miracle every where, 

as evidence which they could not invalidate : and, inasmuch 

as they had said that a man that was a sinner could not do 

such miracles, he turns their own words against them ; Now 

we know that God heareth not sinners; as if to say, I quite 

Aug. agree with you in this opinion. AUG. As yet however He 

s/is. ' V speaks as one but just anointed 1 , for God hears sinners too. 

1 adhuc Else in vain would the publican cry, God be merciful to me 
inunctus . . . 
loquitur. sinner. By that confession he obtained 2 justification, as 

}' uk f Q the blind man had his sight. THEOPHYL. Or, that God 

J-Oj !. 

2 meruit heareth not sinners, means, that God does not enable sinners 

to work miracles. When sinners however implore pardon 
for their offences, they are translated from the rank of sinners 

Chrys. to that of penitents. CHRYS. Observe then, when he said 

ivi^s above, Whether He be a sinner, I know not, it was not that 
he spoke in doubt; for here he not only acquits him of all 
sin, but holds him up as one well pleasing to God : But if 
any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth His will, him 
He heareth. It is not enough to know God, we must do 
His will. Then he extols His deed : Since the world 
began, was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of 
one that was born blind : as if to say, If ye confess that God 
heareth not sinners; and this Man has worked a miracle, 
such an one, as no other man has; it is manifest that the 
virtue whereby He has wrought it, is more than human : If 

Aug. this Man were not of God, He could do nothing. AUG. 

^ 3 r ' xllv ' Freely, stedfastly, truly. For how could what our Lord 
did, be done by any other than God, or by disciples even, 

VER. 35 41. ST. JOHN. 339 

except when their Lord dwelt in them ? CHRYS. So then Chrys. 
because speaking the truth he was in nothing confounded, ^5^ 
when they should most have admired, they condemned him: 
Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? 
AUG. What meaneth altogether? That he was quite blind. Aug. 
Yet He who opened his eyes, also saves him altogether. i 4 r .' x 
CHRYS. Or, altogether, that is to say, from thy birth thou art Chrys. 
in sins. They reproach his blindness, and pronounce his i v i3. 
sins to be the cause of it; most unreasonably. So long as 
they expected him to deny the miracle, they were willing to 
believe him, but now they cast him out. AUG. It was they Aug. 
themselves who had made him teacher; themselves, who ^ x lv 
had asked him so many questions ; and now they ungratefully 
cast him out for teaching. BEDE. It is commonly the way 
with great persons to disdain learning any thing from their 

35. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and 
when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou 
believe on the Son of God? 

36. He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I 
might believe on him? 

37. And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen 
him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 

38. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he wor 
shipped him. 

39. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come 
into this world, that they which see not might see ; 
and that they which see might be made blind. 

40. And some of the Pharisees which were with 
him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we 
blind also? 

41. Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should 
have no sin : but now ye say, We see : therefore your 
sin remaineth. 

CHRYS. Those who suffer for the truth's sake, and con- Chrys. 
fession of Christ, come to greatest honour; as we see in t 


instance of the blind man. For the Jews cast him out of 
the temple, and the Lord of the temple found him; and re 
ceived him as the judge doth the wrestler after his labours, 
and crowned him: Jesus heard that they had cast him out; 
and when He had found him, He saith unto him, Dost thou 
believe on the Son of God? The Evangelist makes it plain 
that Jesus came in order to say this to him. He asks him, 
however, not in ignorance, but wishing to reveal Himself to 
him, and to shew that He appreciated his faith; as if He 
said, The people have cast reproaches on Me, but I care not 
for them ; one thing only I care for, that thou mayest believe. 
Better is he that doeth the will of God, than ten thousand of 
Eilar. the wicked. HILARY. If any mere confession whatsoever 
Trin. of Christ were the perfection of faith, it would have been 
circa said, Dost thou believe in Christ ? But inasmuch as all 
heretics would have had this name in their mouths, confessing 
Christ, and yet denying the Son, that which is true of Christ 
alone, is required of our faith, viz. that we should believe in 
the Son of God. But what availeth it to believe on the Son 
of God as being a creature, when we are required to have 
faith in Christ, not as a creature of God, but as the Son of 
Chrys." God. CHRYS. But the blind man did not yet know Christ, 
lix. i. for before he went to Christ he was blind, and after his cure, 
he was taken hold of by the Jews: He answered and said, 
Who is He, Lord, that I might believe on Him ? The speech 
this of a longing and enquiring mind. He knows not who 
He is for whom he had contended so much ; a proof to thee 
of his love of truth. The Lord however says not to him, I 
am He who healed thee; but uses a middle way of speaking, 
Thou hast both seen Him. THEOPHYL. This He says to 
remind him of his cure, which had given him the power to 
see. And observe, He that speaks is born of Mary, and the 
Son is the Son of God, not two different Persons, according 
to the error of Nestorius: And it is He that talketh with 
Aug. thee. AUG. First, He washes the face of his heart. Then, 
15.' his heart's face being washed, and his conscience cleansed, 
he acknowledges Him as not only the Son of man, which he 
believed before, but as the Son of God, Who had taken flesh 
upon Him: And he said, Lord, I believe. I believe, is a 
small thing. Wouldest thou see what he believes of Him ? 

VI:R. 35 41. ST. JOHN. 341 

And falling down, he worshipped Him. BEDE. An example Vulgate 
to us, not to pray to God with uplifted neck, but prostrate 
upon earth, suppliantly to implore His mercy. CHRYS. He Chrys. 
adds the deed to the word, as a clear acknowledgment of 
His divine power. The Lord replies in a way to confirm 
His faith, and at the same time stirs up the minds of His 
followers: And Jesus said, For judgment have I come into 
this world. AUG. The day then was divided between light and Aug. 
darkness. So it is rightly added, that they which see not, " 
may see; for He relieved men from darkness. But what is 
that which follows: And that they which see might be made 
blind. Hear what comes next. Some of the Pharisees 
were moved by these words: And some of the Pharisees 
which were with Him heard these words, and said unto Him, 
Are we blind also ? What had moved them were the words, 
And that they which see might be made blind. It follows ; 
Jesus saith unto them, If ye ivere blind, ye should have no 
sin ; i. e. If ye called yourselves blind, and ran to the physician. 
But now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth: for 
in that saying, We see, ye seek not a physician, ye shall 
remain in your blindness. This then which He has just 
before said, / came, that they that see not might see; i. e. 
they who confess they cannot see, and seek a physician.j in 
order that they may see: and that they which see not may 
be made blind; i. e. they which think they can see, and seek 
not a physician, may remain in their blindness. This act 
of division He calls judgment, saying, For judgment have I 
come into this world: not that judgment by which He will 
judge quick and dead at the end of the world. CHRYS. Or, 

for judgment, He saith; i. e. for greater punishment, shewing u Xi ^ 
that they who condemned Him. were the very ones who were 
condemned. Respecting what He says, that they which see 
not might see, and that they which see might be made blind; 
it is the same which St. Paul says, The Gentiles which 
followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteous 
ness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, 
which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not 
attained to the law of righteousness. THEOPHYL. As if to 
say, Lo, he that saw not from his birth, now sees both in body 
and soul; whereas they who seem to see, have had their 


understanding darkened. CHRYS. For there is a twofold 
lix. i. vision, and a twofold blindness; viz. that of sense, and that 
of the understanding. But they were intent only on sensible 
things, and were ashamed only of sensible blindness: where 
fore He shews them that it would be better for them to be 
blind, than seeing so : If ye were blind, ye should have no 
sin; your punishment would be easier; But now ye say, We 
see. THEOPHYL. Overlooking the miracle wrought on the 
blind man, ye deserve no pardon; since even visible miracles 
Chrys. make no impression on you. CHRYS. What then they thought 
lix. 12. their great praise, He shews would turn to their punishment; 
and at the same time consoles him who had been afflicted 
with bodily blindness from his birth. For it is not without 
reason that the Evangelist says, And some of the Pharisees 
which were icith him, heard these words; but that he may 
remind us that those were the very persons who had first 
withstood Christ, and then wished to stone Him. For there 
were some who only followed in appearance, and were easily 
changed to the contrary side. THEOPHYL. Or, if ye were 
blind, i. e. ignorant of the Scriptures, your offence would be 
by no means so heavy a one, as erring out of ignorance: but 
now, seeing ye call yourselves wise and understanding in the 
law, your own selves condemn you. 


1. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth 
not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up 
some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 

2. But he that entereth in by the door is the 
shepherd of the sheep. 

3. To him the porter openeth ; and the sheep hear 
his voice : and he calleth his own sheep by name, and 
leadeth them out. 

4. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he 
goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they 
know his voice. 

5. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee 
from him : for they know not the voice of strangers. 

CHRYS. Our Lord having reproached the Jews with blind- Chrys. 
ness, they might have said, We are not blind, but we avoid H X . 2. 
Thee as a deceiver. Our Lord therefore gives the marks 
which distinguish a robber and deceiver from a true shepherd. 
First come those of the deceiver and robber: Verily, verily, 
I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the 
sheep/old, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a 
thief and a robber. There is an allusion here to Antichrist, 
and to certain false Christs who had been, and were to be. 
The Scriptures He calls the door. They admit us to the 
knowledge of God, they protect the sheep, they shut out the 
wolves, they bar the entrance to heretics. He that useth 
not the Scriptures, but climbeth up some other way, i. e. 
some self-chosen ', some unlawful way, is a thief. Climbeth ) ** 1| {* 
up, He says, not, enters, as if it were a thief getting over a 
wall, and running all risks. Some other icay, may refer too 


to the commandments and traditions of men which the 
Scribes taught, to the neglect of the Law. When onr Lord 
further on calls Himself the Door, we need not be surprised. 
According to the office which He bears, He is in one 
place the Shepherd, in another the Sheep. In that He in 
troduces us to the Father, He is the Door; in that He takes 
", care of us, He is the Shepherd. AUG. Or thus : Many go 
2. et sq. under the name of good men according to the standard of 
the world, and observe in some sort the commandments of 
the Law, who yet are not Christians. And these generally 
boast of themselves, as the Pharisees did ; Are we Hind 
also ? But inasmuch as all that they do they do foolishly, 
without knowing to what end it tends, our Lord saith of 
them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enterelh not 
by the door into the xheepfold, but clirnbeth up some other 
ivay, the same is a thief and a robber. Let the Pagans then, 
the Jews, the Heretics, say, " We lead a good life ;" if they 
enter not by the door, what availeth it ? A good life only 
profiteth, as leading to life eternal. Indeed those cannot be 
said to lead a good life, who are either blindly ignorant of, 
or wilfully despise, the end of good living. No one can hope 
for eternal life, who knows not Christ, who is the life, and 
by that door enters into the fold. Whoso wisheth to enter 
into the sheepfold, let him enter by the door; let him preach 
Christ; let him seek Christ's glory, not his own. Christ is a 
lowly door, and he who enters by this door must be lowly, 
if he would enter with his head whole. He that doth not 
humble, but exalt himself, who wishes to climb up over the 
wall, is exalted that he may fall. Such men generally try to 
persuade others that they may live well, and not be Chris 
tians. Thus they climb up by some other way, that they 
may rob and kill. They are thieves, because they call that 
their own, which is not; robbers, because that which they 
Chrys. have stolen, they kill. CintYS. You have seen His descrip- 
Mx ^ on ^ a r bber, now see that of the Shepherd : But he that 
Aug . entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. AUG. 
deVerb. f j e en ters by the door, who enters by Christ, who imitates 
Serin, the suffering of Christ, who is acquainted with the humility 
* lix ' of Christ, so as to feel and know, that if God became man 
for us, man should not think himself God, but rnan. He 

VER. l-*5. ST. JOHN- 345 

who being man wishes to appear God, does not imitate Him, 
who being God, became man. Thou art bid to think less of 
thyself than thou art, but to know what thou art. 

To Him the porter opcneth. CHRYS. The porter perhaps Chrys. 
is Moses; for to him the oracles of God were committed. x ]j x / 2t 
THEOPHYL. Or, the Holy Spirit is the porter, by whom the 

Scriptures are unlocked, and reveal the truth to us. AUG. Aug. 

Tr xlvi. 
Or, the porter is our Lord Himself; for there is much Iess 2> ' 

difference between a door and a porter, than between a door 
and a shepherd. And He has called Himself both the door 
and the shepherd. Why then not the door and the porter? 
He opens Himself, i. e. reveals 1 Himself. If thou seek 1 expo- 
another person for porter, take the Holy Spirit, of whom our " 
Lord below saith, He will guide you into all truth. Thec.16,13. 
door is Christ, the Truth ; who openeth the door, but He 
that trill guide you into all Truth ( ? Whomsoever thou 
understand here, beware that thou esteem not the porter 
greater than the door; for in our houses the porter ranks 
above the door, not the door above the porter. CHRYS. As Chrys. 
they had called Him a deceiver, and appealed to their own]; x . 2 . 
unbelief as the proof of it ; ( Which of the rulers beliereth c - ?> 48 - 
on Him ?} He shews here that it was because they refused to 
hear Him, that they were put out of His flock. The sheep 
hear His voice. The Shepherd enters by the lawful door; 
and they who follow Him are His sheep ; they who do not, 
voluntarily put themselves out of His flock. 

And He calleth His own sheep by name. AUG. He knew Aug. 
the names of the predestinated; as He saith to His disciples, 12 r .' * 
Rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Luke 

And leadeth them out. CHRYS. He led out the sheep, ch'rys.' 

when He sent them not out of the reach of, but into the ' 

' . \ . . 

midst of, the wolves. There seems to be a secret allusion to 
the blind man. He called him out of the midst of the Jews; 
and he heard His voice. AUG. And who is He who leads Aug. 
them out, but the Same who loosens the chain of their sins, ^ x v ' 
that they may follow Him with free unfettered step ? GLOSS. 
And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He yoet/i before 
them, He leadeth them out from the darkness of ignorance 
into light, while He goeth before in the pillar of cloud, and chrys. 
fire. CHRYS. Shepherds always go behind their sheep; but ^ 01 "- 


He, on the contrary, before, to shew that He would lead 

Aug. all to the truth. AUG. And who is this that goeth before 

c*u. V ri 16 sheep, but He who being raised from the dead, dieth no 

Rom. 6, more; and who said, Father, I will also that they, whom 

Infra Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am ? 

17,24. And the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. And 

a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him ; for 

Chrys. they know not the voice of strangers. CHRYS. The strangers 

xlix^s. are Theudas, and Judas, and the false apostles who came 

after Christ. That He might not appear one of this number, 

He gives many marks of difference between Him and them. 

First, Christ brought men to Him by teaching them out of 

the Scriptures; they drew men from the Scriptures. 

Secondly, the obedience of the sheep'; for men believed 

on Him, not only during His life, but after death: their 

followers ceased, as soon as they were gone. THEOPHYL. 

He alludes to Antichrist, who shall deceive for a time, but 

Au g- lose all his followers when he dies. AUG. But here is a 

10. ct difficulty. Sometimes they who are not sheep hear Christ's 

*** voice; for Judas heard, who was a wolf. And sometimes 

the sheep hear Him not; for they who crucified Christ 

heard not; yet some of them were His sheep. You will 

say, While they did not hear, they wei*e not sheep ; the 

voice, when they heard it, changed them from wolves to 

sheep. Still I am disturbed by the Lord's rebuke to the 

Ezek.34, shepherds in Ezekiel, Neither have ye brought again that 

which strayed. He calls it a stray sheep, but yet a sheep 

all the while; though, if it strayed, it could not have heard 

the voice of the Shepherd, but the voice of a stranger. What 

2 Tim. i say then is this ; The Lord knoweth them that are His. 

2 19 

He knoweth the foreknown, he knoweth the predes 
tinated. They are the sheep : for a time they know not 
themselves, but the Shepherd knows them ; for many sheep 
are without the' fold, many wolves within. He speaks then 
of the predestinated. And now the difficulty is solved. The 
sheep do hear the Shepherd's voice, and they only. When 

Mat. 10, is that? It is when that voice saith, He that endureth to the 


end shall be saved. This speech His own hear, the alien 
hear not. 

VER. 6 10. ST. JOHN. 347 

6. This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they 
understood not what things they were which he spake 
unto them. 

AUG. Our Lord feedeth by plain words, exerciseth by utsu P- 
obscure. For when two persons, one godly, the other 
ungodly, hear the words of the Gospel, and they happen to 
be such that neither can understand them ; one says, What 
He saith is true and good, but we do not understand it : the 
other says, It is not worth attending to. The former, in 
faith, knocks, yea, and, if he continue to knock, it shall be 
opened unto him. The latter shall hear the words in Isaiah, 
If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established 1 . Isa.7,9. 

1 non in- 

7. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, Au g- 

** J nonper- 

I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. manebi- 

8. All that ever came before me are thieves and 1S 
robbers : but the sheep did not hear them. 

9. I am the door : by me if any man enter in, he 
shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find 

10. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to 
kill, and to destroy : I am come that they might have 
life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 

CHRYS. Our Lord, to waken the attention of the Jews, Cbrys. 
unfolds the meaning of what He has said ; Then said Jesus j?, ' 
unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the 
door of the sheep. AUG. Lo, the very door which He had Aug. 
shut up, He openeth; He is the Door: let us enter, and letg. ' 
us enter with joy. 

All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers. 
CHRYS. He saith not this of the Prophets, as the heretics Chrys. 
think, but of Theudas, and Judas, and other agitators. So j 1 ?. ' 
he adds in praise of the sheep, The sheep heard them not; 
but he no where praises those who disobeyed the prophets, 
but condemns them severely. AUG. Understand, All that Aug. 
ever came at variance with Me. The Prophets were not at g r ' 
variance' 2 with Him. They came with Him, who came with 2 pr8e ter. 


the Word of God, who spake the truth. He, the Word, the 
Truth, sent heralds before Him, but the hearts of those whom 
He sent were His own. They came with Him, inasmuch 
as He is always, though He assumed the flesh in time : In 
the beginning was the Word. His humble advent in the 
flesh was preceded by just men, who believed on Him as 
about to come, as we believe on Him come. The times are 
different, the faith is the same. Our faith knitteth together 
both those who believed that He was about to come, and 
those who believe that He has come. All that ever came at 
variance with Him were thieves and robbers ; i. e. they 
came to steal and to kill ; but the sheep did not hear them. 
They had not Christ's voice ; but were wanderers, dreamers, 
deceivers. Why He is the Door, He next explains, / am 
the Door; by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved. 
ALCUIN. As if to say, The sheep hear not them, but Me 
they hear; for I am the Door, and whoever entereth by 
Me not falsely but in sincerity, shall by perseverance be 
saved. THEOPHYL. The door admits the sheep into the 
pasture; And shall go in and out, and find pasture. What 
is this pasture, but the happiness to come, the rest to 

Aug- which our Lord brings us ? AUG. What is this, shall go in 

c. 15. and out? To enter into the Church by Christ the Door, is 
a very good thing, but to go out of the Church is not. Going 
in must refer to inward cogitation; going out to outward 

Ps. 103, action ; as in the Psalm, Man goeth forth to his work. 
THEOPHYL. Or, to go in is to watch over the inner man; to 

Colo*. 3. go out, to mortify the outward man, i. e. our members which 
are upon the earth. He that doth this shall find pasture in 

Chrys. the life to come. CHRYS. Or, He refers to the Apostles who 

lix. 3] went in and out boldly; for they became the masters of the 
world, none could turn them out of their kingdom, and they 

A g- found pasture. AUG. But He Himself explains it more satisfac- 

15.' ' torily to me in what follows: The thief comet h not, but for to 
steal, and for to kill: lam come that they might have life, and 
that they might have it more abundantly. By going in they 
have life; i. e. by faith, which worketh by love; by which 

'vivit faith they go into the fold. The just liveth 1 by faith. And 
by going out the} 7 will have it more abundantly : i. e. when 

38 e ' 'true believers die, they have life more abundantly, even a 

VER. 11 13. ST. JOHN. 349 

life which never ends. Though in this fold there is not 
wanting pasture, then they will find pasture, such as will 
satisfy them. To-day shaft Ihou be with Me in paradise. 
GREG. Shall go in, i. e. to faith : shall go out, i. e. to sight: Greg. 
and find pasture, i. e. in eternal fulness. ALCUIN*. The thief '^P" 
cometh not but for to steal, and to kill. As if He said, And well Hom. 
may the sheep not hear the voice of the thief; for he cometh xm- 
not but for to steal: he usurpeth another's office, forming 
his followers not on Christ's precepts, but on his own. And 
therefore it follows, and to kill, i. e. by drawing them from 
the faith; and to destroy, i. e. by their eternal damnation. 
CHRYS. The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, Chrya. 
and to destroy ; this was literally fulfilled in the case of those \- lXf i\ 
movers of sedition 3 , whose followers were nearly all destroyed; 
deprived by the thief even of this present life. But came, 
He saith, for the salvation of the sheep ; That they might 
have life, and that they might have it more abundantly, 
in the kingdom of heaven. This is the third mark of dif 
ference between Himself, and the false prophets. THEOPHYL. 
Mystically, the thief is the devil, steals by wicked thoughts, 
kills by the -assent of the mind to them, and destroys by 

11. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd 
giveth his life for the sheep. 

12. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, 
whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, 
and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth : and the wolf catcheth 
them, and scattereth the sheep. 

13. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, 
and careth not for the sheep. 

AUG. Our Lord has acquainted us with two things which Aug. 
were obscure before; first, that He is the Door; and now i. ' 
again, that He is the Shepherd: / am the good Shepherd. 
Above He said that the shepherd entered by the door. Ifc. xlvii. 
He is the Door, how doth He enter by Himself? Just as 
He knows the Father by Himself, and we by Him; so He 
enters into the fold by Himself, and we by Him. We enter 
a Theudas, Judas, mentioned abo\e. 


by the door, because we preach Christ; Christ preaches 
Himself. A light shews both other things, and itself too. 

Tf. xliv. There is but one Shepherd. For though the rulers of the 
Church, those who are her sons, and not hirelings, are shep- 

Tr.xlvii. herds, they are all members of that one Shepherd. His office 
of Shepherd He hath permitted His members to bear. Peter 
is a shepherd, and all the other Apostles: all good Bishops 
are shepherds. But none of us calleth himself the door. 
He could not have added good, if there were not bad 
shepherds as well. They are thieves and robbers; or at 

forma least mercenaries. GREG. And Pie adds what that goodness 

Greg, is, for our imitation : The good Shepherd giveth His life for 

the sheep. He did what He bade, He set the example of 
Evang. what He commanded: He laid down His life for the sheep, 
that He might convert His body and blood in our Sacrament, 
and feed with His flesh the sheep He had redeemed. A 
path is shewn us wherein to walk, despising death ; a stamp 
is applied to us, and we must submit to the impression. 
Our first duty is to spend our outward possessions upon the 
sheep; our last, if it be necessary, is to sacrifice our life for 
the same sheep. Whoso doth not give his substance to the 
Au *- .. sheep, how can he lay down his life for them? AUG. Christ 
was not the only one who did this. And yet if they who did 
it are members of Him, one and the same Christ did it 
always. He was able to do it without them ; they were not 
Au - without Him. AUG. All these however were good shepherds, 

deVerb. . ' _ * V i -,> 

Dom. not because they shed their blood, but because they did it 

Serm. i.f or ^ e sheep. For they shed it not in pride, but in love, 

Should any among the heretics suffer trouble in consequence 

of their errors and iniquities, they forthwith boast of their 

martyrdom ; that they may be the better able to steal under 

so fair a cloak: for they are in reality wolves. But not all 

who give their bodies to be burned, are to be thought to shed 

their blood for the sheep; rather against the sheep; for the 

1 Cor. Apostle saith, Though I give my body to be burned, and have 

13j 3 * not charity, it profiteth me nothing. And how hath he even 

convic- the smallest charity, who does not love connexion with 

tus Christians? to command which, our Lord did not mention 

Chrys. many shepherds, but one, / am the good Shepherd. CHRYS. 

lx. 5. Our Lord shews here that He did not undergo His passion 

VER. 11 13. ST. JOHN. 351 

unwillingly; but for the salvation of the world. He then 
gives the difference between the shepherd and the hireling : 
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own 
the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the 
sheep, and Jleeth. GREG. Some there are who love earthly Greg, 
possessions more than the sheep, and do not deserve theE^'* 
name of a shepherd. He who feeds the Lord's flock for the xiv - 
sake of temporal hire, and not for love, is an hireling, not 
a shepherd. An hireling is he who holds the place of 
shepherd, but seeketh not the gain of souls, who panteth 
after the good things of earth, and rejoices in the pride of 
station. AUG. He seeketh therefore in the Church, not God, Aug. 
but something else. If he sought God he would be chaste ; p^ 6 ^ 
for the soul hath but one lawful husband, God. Whoever Serm. 
seeketh from God any thing beside God, seeketh unchastely. 
GREG. But whether a man be a shepherd or an hireling, Greg, 
cannot be told for certain, except in a time of trial. 
tranquil times, the hireling generally stands watch like the xiv. 
shepherd. But when the wolf comes, then every one shews 
with what spirit he stood watch over the flock. AUG. The Aug. 
wolf is the devil, and they that follow him; according tOp om er 
Matthew, Which come to you in sheeps 1 clothing, but inwardly Serm. 
they are ravening wolves. AUG. Lo, the wolf hath seized Matt. 7, 
a sheep by the throat, the devil hath enticed a man into ^ 5< 
adultery. The sinner must be excommunicated. But if heTr. xlvi. 
is excommunicated, he will be an enemy, he will plot, 8 ' 
he will do as much harm as he can. Wherefore thou 
art silent, thou dost not censure, thou hast seen the wolf 
coming, and fled. Thy body has stood, thy mind has fled. 
For as joy is relaxation, sorrow contraction, desire a reach 
ing forward of the mind; so fear is the flight of the mind. 
GREG. The wolf too cometh upon the sheep, whenever any Greg, 
spoiler and unjust person oppresses the humble believers. 
And he who seems to be shepherd, but leaves the sheep andxir. 
flees, is he who dares not to resist his violence, from fear of 
danger to himself. He flees not by changing place, but 
by withholding consolation from his flock. The hireling 
is inflamed with no zeal against this injustice. He only 
looks to outward comforts, and overlooks the internal suffer 
ing of his flock. The hireling Jleef/i, because he is an 


Jiireling, and careth not for the sheep. The only reason that 

the hireling fleeth, is because lie is an hireling; as if to say, 

He cannot stand at the approach of danger, who doth not 

love the sheep that he is set over, but seeketh earthly gain. 

Such an one dares not face danger, for fear he should lose 

Aug. what he so much loves. AUG. But if the Apostles were 

Tr. xlvi. shepherds, not hirelings, why did they flee in persecution? 

Mat. 10, And why did our Lord say, When they persecute you in this 

city, flee ye into another? Let us knock, then will come 

Aug. ad one, who will explain. AUG. A servant of Christ, and 

E nor ' minister of His Word and Sacraments, may flee from city to 

clxxx. c jty ? when he is specially aimed at by the persecutors, apart 

from his brethren; so that his flight does not leave the 

Church destitute. But when all, i. e. Bishops, Clerics, and 

Laics, are in danger in common, let not those who need 

assistance be deserted by those who should give it. Let all 

flee together if they can, to some place of security; but, if 

any are obliged to stay, .let them not be forsaken by those 

who are bound to minister to their spiritual wants. Then, 

under pressing persecution, may Christ's ministers flee from 

the place where they are, when none of Christ's people 

remain to be ministered to, or when that ministry may be 

fulfilled by others who have not the same cause for flight. 

But when the people stay, and the ministers flee, and the 

ministry ceases, what is this but a damnable flight of hirelings, 

Aug. who care not for the sheep ? AUG. On the good side are the 

! r ' x v1 ' door, the porter, the shepherd, and the sheep; on the bad, the 

Aug. de thieves, the robbers, the hirelings, the wolf. AUG. We must 

Pom b ' love the shepherd,beware of the wolf, tolerate the hireling. For 

s. xlix. the hireling is useful so long as he sees not the wolf, the thief, 

^ u ^- . and the robber. When he sees them, he flees. AUG. Indeed 

5. he would not be an hireling, did he not receive wages from 

c . 6> the hirer. Sons wait patiently for the eternal inheritance of 

their father; the hireling looks eagerly for the temporal 

wages from his hirer; and yet the tongues of both speak 

abroad the glory of Christ. The hireling hurteth, in that 

he doeth wrong, not in that he speaketh right: the grape 

bunch hangeth amid thorns: pluck the grape, avoid the thorn. 

Many that seek temporal advantages in the Church, preach 

Christ, and through them Christ's voice is heard; and the 

VEK. 14 21. ST. JOHN. 353 

sheep follow not the hireling, but the voice of the Shepherd 
heard through the hireling. 

14. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, 
and am known of mine. 

15. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the 
Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 

16. And other sheep I have, which are not of this 
fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear 
my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shep 

1 7. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay 
down my life, that I might take it again. 

18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of 
myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power 
to take it again. This commandment have I received 
of my Father. 

19. There was a division therefore again among the 
Jews for these sayings. 

20. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is 
mad; why hear ye him? 

21. Others said, These are not the words of him 
that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the 

CHRYS. Two evil persons have been mentioned, one that Chrys. 
kills, and robs the sheep, another that doth not hinder: thej x ' 
one standing for those movers of seditions; the other for the 
rulers of the Jews, who did not take care of the sheep com 
mitted to them. Christ distinguishes Himself from both; 
from the one who came to do hurt by saying, / am come that 
they might have life; from those who overlook the rapine of 
the wolves, by saying that He giveth His life for the sheep. 
Wherefore He saith again, as He said before, / am the good 
Shepherd. And as He had said above that the sheep heard 
the voice of the Shepherd and followed Him, that no one 
might have occasion to ask, What sayest Thou then of those 

2 A 


that believe not? He adds, And I know My sheep, and am 
known of Mine. As Paul too saith, God hath not cast away 
Greg. His people, whom He foreknew. GREG. As if He said, I 
" l ve My sheep, and they love and follow Me. For he who 

loves not the truth, is as yet very far from knowing it. THEO- 
PHYL. Hence the difference of the hii-eling and the Shepherd. 
The hireling does not know his sheep, because he sees them 
so little. The Shepherd knows His sheep, because He is so at- 
Chrys. tractive to them. CHRYS. Then that thou may est not attribute to 
j-j ^ 1 ' the Shepherd and the sheep the same measure of knowledge, He 
adds, As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: 
i. e. I know Him as certainly as He knoweth Me. This then 
Lukeio,is a case of like knowledge, the other is not; as He saith, No 
Greg man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father. GREG. And I 
Horn, in lay down My life for My sheep. As if to say, This is why 
xiv? ng I know My Father, and am known by the Father, because I 
lay down My life for My sheep; i. e. by My love for My 
Chrys. sheep, I shew how much I love My Father. CHRYS. He 
1*. i. gives it too as a proof of His authority. In the same way 
the Apostle maintains his own commission in opposition to 
the false Apostles, by enumerating his dangers and suffer 
ings. THEOPHYL. For the deceivers did not expose their 
lives for the sheep, but, like hirelings, deserted their followers. 
infr. is, Our Lord, on the other hand, protected His disciples : Let 
Greg, these go their way. GREG. But as He came to redeem not 
Horn. on ]y ^0 j ews? Du t the Gentiles, He adds, And other sheep 
Aug. / have, which are not of this fold. AUG. The sheep hitherto 
j) OIn er ' spoken of are those of the stock of Israel according to the 
s. i. flesh. But there were others of the stock of Israel, accord 
ing to faith, Gentiles, who were as yet out of the fold; pre 
destinated, but not yet gathered together. They are not of 
this fold, because they are not of the race of Israel, but they 
Chrys. w jn De o f this fold : Them also I must bring. CHRYS. What 
1*. 2. wonder that these should hear My voice, and follow Me, 
when others are waiting to do the same. Both these flocks 
are dispersed, and without shepherds; for it follows, And they 
shall hear My voice. And then He foretells their future 
Greg, union: And tltere shall be one fold and one Shepherd. GREG. 
Horn. Qf two fl oc k s He maketh one fold, uniting the Jews and 
xiv. Gentiles in His faith. THEOPHYL. For there is one sign of 

VER. 14 21. ST. JOHN. 355 

baptism for all, and one Shepherd, even the Word of God. 
Let the Manichean mark; there is but one fold and one 
Shepherd set forth both in the Old and New Testaments. 
AUG. What does He mean then when He says, / am not Aug. 
sent but unfo the lost sheep ff the house of Israel? Only, 4 /' x Vllt 
that whereas He manifested Himself personally to the Jews, Mat - 15 
He did not go Himself to the Gentiles, but sent others. 
CHRYS. The word must here (I must briny] does not signify Chl 7 s - 
necessity, but only that the thing would take place. There-}*, 
fore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, 
that I might take it again. They had called Him an alien 
from His Father. AUG. i. e. Because I die, to rise again. Aug. 
There is great force in, / lay down. Let not the Jews, He^ r>xlvl1 ' 
says, boast; rage they may, but if I should not choose to lay 
down My life, what will they do by raging? THEOPHYL. The 
Father does not bestow His love on the Son as a reward for 
the death He suffered in our behalf; but He loves Him, as 
beholding in the Begotten His own essence, whence pro 
ceeded such love for mankind. CHRYS. Or He says, in con- chrys. 
descension to our weakness, Though there were nothing Hom ' 
else which made Me love you, this would, that ye are so 
loved by My Father, that, by dying for you, I shall win His 
love. Not that He was not loved by the Father before, or 
that we are the cause of such love. For the same purpose 
He shews that He does not come to His Passion unwillingly: 
No man taketh it from Me, but 1 lay it down of Myself. 
AUG. Wherein He shewed that His natural death was not Aug. 
the consequence of sin in Him, but of His own simple will, . de 
which was the why, the when, and the how: I have power foxxxviii! 
lay it down. CHRYS. As they had often plotted to kill Him, Chrys. 
He tells them their efforts will be useless, unless He is willing. , Ho ?' 
I have such power over My own life^ that no one can take 
it from Me, against My will. This is not true of men. We 
have not the power of laying down our own lives, except we put 
ourselves to death. Our Lord alone has this power. And this 
being true, it is true also that He can take it again when He 
pleases: And I have power to take it again: which words de 
clare beyond a doubt a resurrection. That they might not 
think His death a sign that God had forsaken Him, He adds, 
This commandment have I received from My Father; i. e. to 

2 A2 


lay down My life, and take it again. By which we must not un 
derstand that He first waited to hear this commandment, and 
had to learn His work ; He only shews that that work which 
He voluntarily undertook, was not against the Father's will. 
THEOPHYL. He only means His perfect agreement with His 
Father. ALCUIN. For the Word doth not receive a command 
by word, but containeth in Himself all the Father's command 
ments. When the Son is said to receive what He possesseth 
of Himself, His power is not lessened, but only His gene 
ration declared. The Father gave the Son every thing in 
begetting Him. He begat Him perfect. THEOPHYL. After 
declaring Himself the Master of His own life and death, 
which was a lofty assumption, He makes a more humble con 
fession; thus wonderfully uniting both characters; shewing 
that He was neither inferior to or a slave of the Father on 
the one hand, nor an antagonist on the other; but of the same 
Aug. po^'er and will. AUG. How doth our Lord lay down His 
Tr.xlvii. own lif e ? Christ is the Word, and man, i. e. in soul and 
body. Doth the Word lay down His life, and take it again ; 
or doth the human soul, or doth the flesh? If it was the 
l $x*i> Word of God that laid down His soul 1 and took it again, that 
soul was at one time separated from the Word. But, though 
death separated the soul and body, death could not separate 
the Word and the soul. It is still more absurd to say that 
the soul laid down itself; if it could not be separated from 
the Word, how could it be from itself? The flesh therefore 
layeth down its life and taketh it again, not by its own power, 
but by the power of the Word which dwelleth in it. This 
refutes the Apollinarians, who say that Christ had not a 
human, rational soul. ALCUIN. But the light shined in dark 
ness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There teas a 
division among the Jews for these sayings. And many of 
Chrys. them said, He hath a devil, and is mad. CHRYS. Because 
l x . 3.' He spoke as one greater than man, they said He had a devil. 
But that He had not a devil, others proved from His works: 
Others said, These are not the words of Him that hath a 
devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? As if to say, 
Not even the words themselves are those of one [that hath 
a devil; but if the words do not convince you, be persuaded 
by the works. Our Lord having already given* proof who 

VER. 22 30. ST. JOHN. 357 

He was by His works, was silent. They were unworthy of 
an answer. Indeed, as they disagreed amongst themselves, 
an answer was unnecessary. Their opposition only brought 
out, for our imitation, our Lord's gentleness, and long suffer 
ing. ALCUIN. We have heard of the patience of God, and 
of salvation preached amid revilings. They obstinately 
preferred tempting Him to obeying Him. 

22. And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedi 
cation, and it was winter. 

23. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's 

24. Then came the Jews round about him, and said 
unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt ? If 
thou be the Christ, tell us plainly, 

25. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed 
not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they 
bear witness of me. 

20. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my 
sheep, as I said unto you. 

27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and 
they follow me. 

28. And I give unto them eternal life; and they 
shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them 
out of my hand. 

29. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than 
all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my 
Father's hand. 

30. I and my Father are one. 

AUG. And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication. Aug. 
Encaenia is the feast of the dedication of the temple; from 
the Greek word xaivov, signifying new. The dedication of 
any thing new was called encaenia. CHRYS. It was the feast Chrys. 
of the dedication of the temple, after the return from the \ 
Babylonish captivity. ALCUIN. Or, it was in memory of 
the dedication under Judas Maccabeus. The first dedi- 


cation was that of Solomon in the autumn; the second that 
of Zorobabel, and the priest Jesus in the spring. This was 
in winter time. BEDE. Judas Maccabeus instituted an an 
nual commemoration of this dedication. THEOPHYL. The 
Evangelist mentions the time of winter, to shew that it was 
near His passion. He suffered in the following spring; for 
which reason He took up His abode at Jerusalem. GREG. Or 
e. 11. * because the season of cold was in keeping with the cold 
Chrys. malicious hearts of the Jews. CHRYS. Christ was present 
hd w * tn mnc h zea -l at tn i s f east > an <l thenceforth stayed 'in 
1 'fftnt^ui Judrea ; His passion being now at hand. And Jesus walked 
IJa^tv i n the temple in Solomon's porch. ALCUJN. It is called 
Solomon's porch, because Solomon went to pray there. The 
porches of a temple are usually named after the temple. If 
the Son of God walked in a temple where the flesh of brute 
animals was offered up, how much more will He delight to 
visit our house of prayer, in which His own flesh and blood 
are consecrated? THEOPHYL. Be thou also careful, in the 
winter time, i. e. while yet in this stormy wicked world, to 
celebrate the dedication of thy spiritual temple, by ever 
renewing thyself, ever rising upward in heart. Then will 
rji <r*jcr ? Jesus be present with thee in Solomon's porch, and give 
thee safety under His coveiing. But in another life no man 
Aug. will be able to dedicate Himself. AUG. The Jews cold in 
xlviif'a l ve > burning in their malevolence, approached Him not to 
honour, -but persecute. TJien came the Jews round about 
Him, and said unto Him, How long dost Thou make us to 
doubt ? If Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. They did not 
want to know the truth, but only to find ground of accusation. 
Chrys. CHRYS. Being able to find no fault with His works, they 
Ixi/ tried to catch Him in His words. And mark their perversity. 
When He instructs by His discourse, they say, What sign 
shewest Thou ? When He demonstrates by His works, they 
say, // Thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Either way 
they are determined to oppose Him. There is great malice 
1 #- in that speech, Tell us plainly. He had spoken plainly 1 , 
openly when up at the feasts, and had hid nothing. They preface 
before nowever w ith flattery : How lontj dost TJiou make us" to doubt ? 
^v.tollisas if they were anxious to know the truth, but really only 
meaning to provoke Him to say something that they might 

VER. 22 30. ST. JOHN. 359 

lay hold of. ALCUIN. They accuse Him of keeping their 
minds in suspense and uncertainty, who had come to save 
their souls*. AUG. They wanted our Lord to say, I am the Aug. 
Christ. Perhaps, as they had human notions of the Messiah, xlviii. 
having failed to discern His divinity in the Prophets, they 
wanted Christ to confess Himself the Messiah, of the seed 
of David; that they might accuse Him of aspiring to the 
regal power. ALCUIN. And thus they intended to give Him 
into the hands of the Proconsul for punishment, as an 
usurper against the emperor. Our Lord so managed His 
reply as to stop the mouths of His calumniators, open those 
of the believers; and to those who enquired of Him as a 
man, reveal the mysteries of His divinity: Jesus answered 
them, I told you, and ye believed not; the tvorks that I 
do in My Father's name, they bear witness of Me. CHRYS. Chrys. 
He reproves their malice, for pretending that a single word ^j ' 
would convince them, whom so many words had not. If 
you do not believe My works, He says, how will you believe 
My words? And He adds why they do not believe: But ye 
believe not, because ye are not of My sheep. AUG. He saw Aug. 
that they were persons predestinated to eternal death, andj^j^^ 
not those for whom He had bought eternal life, at the price 4. 
of His blood. The sheep believe, and follow the Shepherd. 
THEOPHYL. After He had said, Ye are not of My sheep, He 
exhorts them to become such: My sheep hear My voice. 
ALCUIN. i. e. Obey My precepts from the heart. And I know 
them, and they follow Me, here by walking in gentleness and 
innocence, hereafter by entering the joys of eternal life. 
And I give unto them eternal life. AUG. This is the pasture Aug. 
of which He spoke before : And shall find pasture : Eternal ^jif' 
life is called a goodly pasture: the grass thereof withereths. 
not, all is spread with verdure. But these cavillers thought 
only of this present life. And they shall not perish eternally; ,1 ^ 
as if to say, Ye shall perish eternally, because ye are not Qf^^ 
My sheep. THEOPHYL. But how then did Judas perish ?;*> 
Because he did not continue to the end. Christ speaks of" 
them who persevere. If any sheep is separated from the 
flock, and wanders from the Shepherd, it incurs danger im- 

a Ale. literally, Christ didnotcorae to they made themselves to doubt, tempt- 
make them doubt, but to give them life : ing Christ, not believing in Him. 


Aug. mediately. AUG. And He adds why they do not perish: 
xivm! 6. Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. Of 
2 Tim. those sheep of which it is said. The Lord knoweth them 

2 19 

that are His, the wolf robbeth none, the thief taketh 

none, the robber killeth none. Christ is confident of 

their safety; and He knows what He gave up for them. 

Hilar. HILARY. This is the speech of conscious power. Yet to 

d f. T 2'shew, that though of the Divine nature He hath His nativity 

from God, He adds, My Father which gave Me them is 

greater than all. He does not conceal His birth from the 

Father, but proclaims it. For that which He received from 

the Father, He received in that He was born from Him. He 

received it in the birth itself, not after it ; though He was 

Au g- born when He received it. AUG. The Son, born from ever- 


xlvfii. lasting of the Father, God from God, has not equality with 

the Father by growth, but by birth. This is that greater 
than all which the Father gave Him b ; viz. to be His Word, 
to be His Only-Begotten Son, to be the brightness of His 
light. Wherefore 110 man taketh His sheep out of His hand, 
any more than from His Father's hand : And no man is able pluck them out of My Father's hand. If by hand we 
understand power, the power of the Father and the Son is 
one, even as Their divinity is one. If we understand the Son, 
the Son is the hand of the Father, not in a bodily sense, as 
if God the Father had limbs, but as being He by Whom all 
things were made. Men often call other men hands, when 
they make use of them for any purpose. And sometimes a 
man's work is itself called his hand, because made by his 
hand ; as when a man is said to know his own hand, when 
he recognises his own handwriting. In this place, however, 
hand signifies power. If we take it for Son, we shall be in 
danger of imagining that if the Father has a hand, and that 
Hilar. hand is His Son, the Son must have a Son too. HILARY. 
The hand of the Son is spoken of as the hand of the Father, 

c - 2 " 2 - to let thefe see, by a bodily representation, that both have the 

same nature, that the nature and virtue of the Father is in 

Chrys. the Son also. CHRYS. Then that thou mayest not suppose 

Horn. t j ia t ] ie Fathers power protects the sheep, while He is 

Himself too weak to do so, He adds, [and My Father arc 

b Pater meus quod dedit mihi majus omnibus est. V. 

VER. 31 38. ST. JOHN. 36'1 

one. AUG. Mart both those words, one and are. and thou Au g- 


wilt be delivered from Scylla and Charybdis. In that He X xxvi. 
says, one the Arian, in we are the Sabellian, is answered. non oec ' 
There are both Father and Son. And if one, then there is 
no difference of persons between them. AUG. We are one. Aug. 
What He is, that am I, in respect of essence, not of relation. Trin. 6 

HILARY. The heretics, since they cannot gainsay these?; 2 - 

words, endeavour by an impious lie to explain them away. viii. d'e 

c. 6. 

They maintain that this unity is unanimity only; a unity of Tnn> 

will, not of nature ; i. e, that the two are one, not in that they 
are the same, but in that they will the same. But they are 
one, not by any economy merely, but by the nativity of the 
Son's nature, since there is no falling off of the Father's 
divinity in begetting Him. They are one whilst the sheep 
that are not plucked out of the Son's hand, are not plucked 
out of the Father's hand: whilst in Him working, the Father 
worketh; whilst He is in the Father, and the Father in Him. 
This unity, not creation but nativity, not will but power, not 
unanimity but nature accomplisheth. But we deny not 
therefore the unanimity of the Father and Son ; for the 
heretics, because we refuse to admit concord in the place of 
unity, accuse us of making a disagreement between the 
Father and Son. We deny not unanimity, but we place it on 
the ground of unity. The Father and Son are one in respect 
of nature, honour, and virtue : and the same nature cannot 
will different things. 

31. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone 

32. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I 
shewed you from my Father; for which of those works 
do ye stone me? 

33- The Jews answered him, saying, For a good 
work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and be 
cause that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 

34. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your 
law, I said, Ye are gods? 

35. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of 
God came, and the scripture cannot be broken ; 


36. Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, 
and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because 
I said, I am the Son of God ? 

37. If I do not the works of my Father, believe me 

38. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe 
the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the 
Father is in me, and I in him. 

AUG. At this speech, I and My Father are one, the Jews 
xlviii. 8. could not restrain their rage, but ran to take up stones, after 
their hardheaited way : Then the Jews took up stones again 
Hilar. to stone Him. HILARY. The heretics now, as unbelieving 
Trin. 6 an( ^ rebellious against our Lord in heaven, shew their im- 
c. 23. pious hatred by the stones, i. e. the words they cast at Him; 
as if they would drag Him down again from His throne to 
the cross. THEOPHYL. Our Lord remonstrates with them ; 
Many good works have I shewed you from My Father, 
shewing that they had no just reason for their anger. 
ALCUIN. Healing of the sick, teaching, miracles. He 
shewed them of the Father, because He sought His Father's 
glory in all of them. For which of these works do ye stone 
Me? They confess, though reluctantly, the benefit they have 
received from Him, but charge Him at the same time with 
blasphemy, for asserting His equality with the Father; For 
a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy; and 
because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God. 
Aug- AUG. This is their answer to the speech, I and My Father 
xlviii. 8. are one. Lo, the Jews understood what the Arians under 
stand not. For they are angry for this very reason, that they 
could not conceive but that by saying, / and My Father 
are one, He meant the equality of the Father and the Son. 
Hilar. HH,ARY. The Jew saith, Thou being a man, the Arian, Thou 
Trin b 6 * 11 ^ a creature : but both say, Thou makest Thyself God. 
c. 23. The Arian supposes a God of a new and different substance, 
a God of another kind, or not a God at all. He saith, 
Thou art not Son by birth, Thou art not God of truth; Thou 
Chrys. art a superior creature. CHRYS. Our Lord did not correct 
l x j2* the Jews, as if they misunderstood His speech, but con- 

VER. 31 38. ST. JOHN. 363 

firmed and defended it, in the very sense in which they had 
taken it. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your 
law, AUG. i. e. the Law given to you, / have said, Ye are Aug. 
Gods? God saith this by the Prophet in the Psalm. OurJ?*; 
Lord calls all those Scriptures the Law generally, though Ps.82,6. 
elsewhere He spiritually distinguishes the Law from the 
Prophets. On these two commandments hang all the Law Matt. 
and the Prophets. In another place He makes a threefold ' 
division of the Scriptures; All things must be fulfilled which Luke 
were written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and z4 > 44- 
in the Psalms concerning Me. Now He calls the Psalms 
the Law, and thus argues from them ; If he called them 
gods unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture 
cannot be broken, say ye of Him whom the Father hath 
sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, be 
cause I said, I am the Son of God? HILARY. Before Hilar. 
proving that He and His Father are one, He answers the Xrln. 6 
absurd and foolish charge brought against Him, that He c - 24. 
being man made Himself God. When the Law applied this 
title to holy men, and the indelible word of God sanctioned 
this use of the incommunicable name, it could not be a crime 
in Him, even though He were man, to make Himself God. 
The Law called those who were mere men, gods ; and if 
any man could bear the name religiously, and without arro 
gance, surely that man could, who was sanctified by the 
Father, in a sense in which none else is sanctified to the 
Sonship ; as the blessed Paul saith, Declared 1 to be the Son^predes- 
of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness. For v. 
all this reply refers to Himself as man; the Son of God^ om-1 ' 
being also the Son of man. AUG. Or sanctified, i. e. in A U . 
begetting, gave Him holiness, begat Him holy. If men to Tr *P. f * 
whom the word of God came were called gods, much more 
the Word of God Himself is God. If men by partaking of 
the word of God were made gods, much more is the Word 
of w r hich they partake, God. THEOPHYL. Or, sanctified, i.e. 
set apart to be sacrificed for the world: a proof that He 
was God in a higher sense than the rest. To save the world 
is a divine work, not that of a man made divine by grace. 
CHRYS. Or, we must consider this a speech of humility, ^hrys. 



made to conciliate men. After it he leads them to higher 
things; If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not; 
which is as much as to say, that He is not inferior to the 
Father. As they could not see His substance, He directs 
them to His works, as being like and equal to the Father's. 
For the equality of their works, proved the equality of their 
Hilar. power. HILARY. What place hath adoption, or the mere 
cone 6 ? 1 * 011 f a name then, that we should not believe 
Him to be the Son of God by nature, when He tells us to 
believe Him to be the Sou of God, because the Father's 
nature shewed itself in Him by His works ? A creature is 
not equal and like to God: no other nature has power com 
parable to the divine. He declares that He is carrying on 
not His own work, but the Father's, lest in the greatness of 
the works, the nativity of His nature be forgotten. And as 
1 sacra- under the sacrament 1 of the assumption of a human body in 
corpoHs ^ e WODQ b f Mary, the Son of God was not discerned, this 
must be gathered from His work ; But if I do, though ye 
believe not Me, believe the works. Why doth the sacra 
ment of a human birth hinder the understanding of the 
divine, when the divine birth accomplishes all its work by 
aid of the human ? Then He tells them what they should 
gather from His works; That ye may know and believe, that 
the Father is in Me, and I in Him. The same declaration 
again, / am the Son of God: I and the Father are one. 
Aug. AUG. The Son doth not say, The Father is in Me, and I in 
xlvi ^ ' Him, in the sense in which men who think and act aright 
10 - may say the like ; meaning that they partake of God's grace, 
and are enlightened by His Spirit. The Only-begotten Son 
of God is in the Father, and the Father in Him, as an equal 
in an equal. 

39. Therefore they sought again to take him: but 
he escaped out of their hand, 

40. And went away again beyond Jordan into the 
place where John at first baptized; and there he 

41. And many resorted unto him, and said, John 

VER. 39 42. ST. JOHN. 365 

did no miracle : but all things that John spake of this 
man were true. 

42. And many believed on him there. 

BEDE. The Jews still persist in their madness ; Therefore 
they sought again to take Him. AUG. To lay hold of Him, Aug. 
not by faith and the understanding, but with bloodthirsty^^' 
violence. Do thou so lay hold of Him, that thou mayestn. 
have sure hold ; they would fain have laid hold on Him, 
but they could not : for it follows, But He escaped out of 
their hand. They did lay hold of Him with the hand of 
faith. It was no great matter for the Word to rescue His 
flesh from the hands of flesh. CHRYS. Christ, after dis-chrys. 
coursing on some high truth, commonly retires immediately, 11 ?- 
to give time to the fury of people to abate, during His 
absence. Thus He did now: He went away again beyond 
Jordan, into the place where John at first baptized. He 
went there that He might recall to people's minds, what had 
gone on there ; John's preaching and testimony to Himself. 
BEDE. He was followed there by many: And many resorted nonoc 
unto Him, and said, John did no miracle. AUG. Did not Aug. 
cast out devils, did not give sight to the blind, did not raise J^' 
the dead. CHRYS. Mark their reasoning, John did no c. 12. 
miracle, but this Man did; wherefore He is the superior. Hom! 
But lest the absence of miracles should lessen the weight of lxi - 3 * 
John's testimony, they add, But all things that John spake 
of this Man were true. Though he did no miracle, yet 
every thing he said of Christ was true, whence they conclude, 
if John was to be believed, much more this Man, who has 
the evidence of miracles. Thus it follows, And many 
believed on Him. AUG. These laid hold of Him while Aug. 
abiding, not, like the Jews, when departing. Let us approach T 1 ?. t< 
by the candle to the day. John is the candle, and gave c. 12. 
testimony to the day. THEOPHYL. We may observe that 
our Lord often brings out the people into solitary places, 
thus ridding them of the society of the unbelieving, for their 
furtherance in the faith : just as He led the people into the 
wilderness, when He gave them the old Law. Mystically, 
Christ departs from Jerusalem, i. e. from the Jewish people ; 


and goes to a place where are springs of water, i. e. to 
the Gentile Church, that hath the waters of baptism. And 
many resort unto Him, passing over the Jordan, i. e. through 

BS Thomas Aquinas 

2555 Catena Aurea 


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